Keedy leaves it late
Gary Keedy struck a potentially decisive late blow as Lancashire chased the victory over Worcestershire that would take them top of the LV= County Championship.
The left-arm spinner removed Vikram Solanki for 107 six overs before the close of the third day at Blackpool, which ended with Worcestershire 203 for five in pursuit of 329 to win.
If Solanki’s fine innings raised fears among Lancashire’s players of an unlikely successful pursuit, his dismissal means the home side will be confident of wrapping up this game tomorrow.
Earlier, Lancashire slipped from an overnight 167 for three to 248 all out despite Karl Brown’s 85, while Gareth Andrew’s three wickets this morning gave him admirable figures of 5-59 to complement his first-innings half-century.
Nottinghamshire closed the third day of their rain-ravaged clash with Somerset at Taunton boasting a slender first-innings lead.
Somerset, eight points adrift of Lancashire in the table, mustered just 177 after resuming on 20 for two as Andre Adams’ haul of 6-33 made up for the considerable time lost over the first two days.
Notts responded by reaching 183 for three - an advantage of six - Samit Patel’s 70 not out the highest of several useful contributions. A draw seems the most likely outcome.
Warwickshire, another side harbouring title ambitions, were indebted to Chris Woakes for the second day running as they moved into a strong position against Hampshire at Edgbaston.
The England Lions all-rounder followed up his career-best haul of 7-20 yesterday with a breezy 64 in a total of 250, which was constructed from an overnight 96 for four and also featured 55 from Tim Ambrose.
In converting a first-innings deficit of 109 into a lead of 54 by the close of day two, Hampshire lost four wickets, three of which went to Keith Barker.
Joe Root’s 160 failed to prevent Yorkshire conceding the upper hand to Sussex on the third day at Scarborough.
In bolstering his overnight 111, Root added 198 with Gary Ballance, who made 87, for the fifth wicket, but Yorkshire collapsed from 345 for four to 388.
Sussex, leading by 10 on first innings, closed the third day on 126 for three, thanks in part to Ed Joyce’s 42.
Division Two leaders Northamptonshire need just two wickets to record their sixth championship victory of the season against third-placed Derbyshire at Chesterfield.
James Middlebrook’s 101 not out helped the visitors to 416 all out and set Derbyshire a notional 494 to reignite their slim promotion hopes.
Despite Dan Redfern’s half-century, Derbyshire closed on 289 for eight and face near certain defeat tomorrow.
Stubborn resistance from Kent’s top and middle order means promotion hopefuls Middlesex are far from guaranteed victory at Canterbury.
Middlesex were bowled out for 303 - a first-innings lead of 61 - but Joe Denly got Kent’s reply off to a dent start with 47 off 53 balls, while Martin van Jaarsveld struck a patient 66.
Azhar Mahmood and Geraint Jones’ partnership of 93 for the sixth wicket, in which the latter finished the day with an unbeaten 69, helped Kent to 292 for six at the close - a lead of 231.
David Masters excelled with the ball, while Billy Godleman and Jaik Mickleburgh shone with the bat to put Essex into a position of strength against Gloucestershire at Colchester.
Masters, Division Two’s leading wicket-taker with 73 victims, finished with 6-75 as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 264, while Billy Godleman’s 50 and Mickleburgh’s unbeaten 68 helped Essex to 243 for four at the close - a lead of 342.
Leicestershire batsman James Taylor struck his first championship century of the season but Glamorgan look to be on top at Colwyn Bay.
Taylor underpinned Leicestershire’s innings with 127 not as the visitors declared on 309 for seven, despite trailing by 83. James Harris finished with impressive figures of 5-45 before Glamorgan closed on 146 for four - 229 in front.