Weather checks Durham
Durham’s title rivals were the biggest beneficiaries as the weather continued to eat into the LV= County Championship leaders’ clash with Hampshire.
With only 30 overs possible on the first day and yesterday washed out, a combination of rain and, later, bad light limited the third day’s play at the Emirates Durham ICG to 53 overs.
That was enough time to allow bottom-of-the-table Hampshire to progress from 77 for three to 230 for six, but, barring some wonderfully imaginative captaincy on the final day, this game seems destined to finish in a draw.
The most notable performance today came from Neil McKenzie, who fell 10 short of a century after resuming on 46, while Dimitri Mascarenhas contributed a brisk 50.
By contrast, there is much to play for at Horsham, where a testing final-day run-chase awaits Sussex.
The hosts closed this evening on 17 for one, chasing 337 for victory after Worcestershire were bowled out for 311.
Moeen Ali made 68, Matt Pardoe 42 and number 11 Alan Richardson 41 off 31 balls, adding a potentially crucial 56 for the last wicket with Ben Scott. Monty Panesar, who opened the bowling for Sussex yesterday, finished with 4-101.
In Division Two, Surrey were shot out for 104 in just 28.2 overs as Kent swept to a comprehensive 265-run victory inside three days at Canterbury.
Kent captain Rob Key converted his overnight 70 into a superb unbeaten 110, carrying his bat in an innings in which the next highest score was 22.
He lifted the hosts from 167 for six to 230 all out, leaving Surrey 370 to win. James Tredwell’s 5-35, allied to four wickets for Darren Stevens, who claimed match figures of 11-70, ensured they never got close.
Derbyshire remain on course to beat Gloucestershire convincingly despite losing two wickets late on at Derby.
Following on, Gloucestershire wasted Kane Williamson's 75 as they collapsed from 220 for four to 302 all out thanks in part to Mark Turner's 4-79.
A target of 110 for victory should not overly tax Derbyshire, although Jon Lewis’ removal of Wayne Madsen and Chesney Hughes in the final session may have sparked a minor bout of nerves in the home dressing room as they closed on 30 for two.
Stephen Peters and Mal Loye helped leaders Northamptonshire make significant inroads to Middlesex’s 317 in the top-of-the-table clash at Lord’s.
Peters contributed 75 to an opening stand of 158 and Loye closed the second day on 80 not out, carrying Northants to 188 for two - trailing by 129 - against the side who sit five points behind them in second place.
Earlier, former Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas claimed two wickets to finish with 5-76, while John Simpson went from nine overnight to 61.