Notts produce champion comeback
Defending champions Nottinghamshire staged a sensational fightback to claim an unlikely 58-run victory over Yorkshire at Headingley Carnegie and maintain their 100% start to the new LV= County Championship season.
Hopes of a Notts success appeared slim this morning as they resumed on 175 for six, still 18 runs short of making their opponents bat again.
However, a seventh-wicket stand of 150 between captain Chris Read and Steven Mullaney, who made 86 and 83 respectively, lifted the visitors to 337 all out and Yorkshire were then skittled for just 86 in reply, despite an unbeaten half-century from wicketkeeper-batsman Jonathan Bairstow.
Charlie Shreck, Paul Franks and Luke Fletcher claimed three wickets apiece for Notts, who were forced to make do without Andre Adams after the veteran seamer picked up a groin strain.
Read’s men sit second in the embryonic table behind Lancashire, who have defied all expectations in the opening weeks of the campaign.
After thrashing Sussex at Liverpool last week, the Red Rose county completed another thumping win today as they defeated Somerset by an innings and 20 runs.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof was the undoubted star of the show at Liverpool.
He became only the third Lancashire player to score a century on championship debut, making 102 in a total of 451, and then picked up two crucial wickets as Somerset stumbled to 163 all out in their second innings.
Sussex appear set to register their first victory of the season after they dominated the third day of their match at Durham.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Monty Panesar wasted little time in wrapping up Durham’s second innings for 210 this morning, with the final five wickets falling for just 44 in 15.1 overs.
Luke Wells then took centre stage with an unbeaten 74 as Sussex moved to within 72 runs of their victory target of 309, with six wickets still intact.
Varun Chopra became the first batsman in Warwickshire’s history to score double hundreds in successive championship matches as his side moved into a position of security against Midlands rivals Worcestershire at New Road.
Chopra, who thumped 210 in Warwickshire’s thrashing of Somerset last time out, finished day three unbeaten on 223 in an imposing total of 411 for three.
New overseas signing Mohammad Yousuf chipped in with 81 for the visitors, who now lead by 237 having conceded a 174-run first-innings deficit.
In Division Two, the game between Derbyshire and Middlesex at the County Ground is evenly poised heading into the final day.
After eventually dismissing their hosts for 403 this afternoon, Middlesex closed on 145 for two and require a further 183 for victory.
Greg Smith and Dan Redfern contributed 50 and 49 respectively for Derbyshire today to build on the good work of Wes Durston, who made 96 at the top of the order on day two, while Tony Palladino added a valuable unbeaten 29 from number 11.
Palladino then accounted for former Derbyshire captain Chris Rogers, who made 49, after Smith had removed Scott Newman for 37 to leave Dan Housego and Dawid Malan at the crease for Middlesex.
Glamorgan dug in to reach 377 for nine in their match against Surrey, although they still need another 49 if they are to avoid the follow-on tomorrow.
Stuart Meaker claimed four top-order wickets for Surrey, who made a mammoth 575 for seven declared in their first innings, but some spirited lower-order resistance frustrated the visitors.
Nightwatchman Huw Waters batted for over two sessions for 54, wicketkeeper Mark Wallace hit 55 and Graham Wagg added 48, while England Lions seamer James Harris was unbeaten on 32 at the close.
A draw seems to be the most likely outcome at Wantage Road, where Northamptonshire are playing host to Essex.
Niall O’Brien and Chaminda Vaas each fell four runs short of a century as Northants piled on the runs today, reaching 538 for nine declared in reply to 433.
Essex made it through to the close on 26 without loss, still trailing by 79.