Troughton and Clarke ton up
Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke both struck centuries as Warwickshire posted a formidable first-innings total in their efforts to go top of the LV= County Championship against Nottinghamshire.
Warwickshire, who can leapfrog Durham to the summit of Division One with victory at Edgbaston this week, compiled 574 for seven declared before Chris Read’s side closed on 86 for one in reply.
After Ian Westwood was dismissed for 171 - just seven shy of his highest first-class score - captain Troughton and Clarke took centre stage.
Troughton compiled 151 off 259 balls, while Clarke adopted a more attacking approach, reaching 126 off just 101 deliveries in an innings that included 18 fours and four sixes. Spinner Graeme White accounted for both batsmen shortly before the declaration.
Notts’ reply got off to a decent start with Alex Hales and Kyle Turner putting on 54 for the first wicket before the latter was snared by Chris Woakes. Hales ended the day on 51 not out to help his side’s cause.
Left-arm spinners Gary Keedy and Simon Kerrigan shared five wickets but Hampshire refused to buckle against title-chasing Lancashire at Aigburth.
Red Rose captain Glen Chapple fell three runs shy of a seventh first-class century but his innings, together with Kyle Hogg’s fifty, propelled Lancashire to 388 all out.
Despite Keedy and Kerrigan’s best efforts, half-centuries from openers Jimmy Adams and Liam Dawson, as well as an unbeaten 52 from Sean Ervine, helped Hampshire close on 229 for five.
Ryan Sidebottom took four wickets to hand Yorkshire the initiative against Somerset, whose minute title chances appear to have completely evaporated at Headingley Carnegie.
After rain washed out the morning session, overnight duo Alex Barrow and Jos Buttler were dismissed for 69 and 52 respectively, although Somerset were grateful to Alfonso Thomas’ innings of 49 as they were dismissed for 265.
Sidebottom was their chief destroyer, picking up 4-61, while Ajmal Shahzad and Moin Ashraf also claimed two wickets apiece as the White Rose, who closed on 20 without loss, looked to push for a victory that may not be enough to prevent relegation.
Monty Panesar was in equally good form at New Road, where his four wickets have left Worcestershire battling to avoid the follow-on against Sussex.
Ben Brown’s 71 and an unbeaten 44 from James Anyon helped Sussex to 375 all out and, despite Alexei Kervezee’s unbeaten 52, Worcestershire closed on 199 for seven - still needing 27 runs to ensure Sussex bat again.
There was further frustration for Division Two leaders Middlesex, who, along with Glamorgan, were unable to take the field for a second successive day at the SWALEC Stadium due to persistent rain.
Surrey, who sit third behind Northamptonshire and still retain high hopes of promotion, lead Essex by 166 with six second-innings wickets in hand after a day of fluctuating fortunes at Chelmsford.
England Lions seamer Stuart Meaker, with 5-66, and fellow paceman Tim Linley, who returned 4-48, did the bulk of the damage as the hosts collapsed from 100 without loss to 253 all out, giving Surrey a useful first-innings lead of 62.
Rory Hamilton-Brown’s men stumbled to 44 for three in their second innings, but Zander de Bruyn and Tom Maynard shared a stand of 60 in 8.4 overs to regain the momentum for their side before the latter became David Masters’ third victim from what proved to be the final ball of the day.
Rain interrupted proceedings at Bristol, but Gloucestershire, who also remain in the promotion picture, were still able to move into a position of strength against lowly Leicestershire.
Will Gidman beat his brother Alex’s score by four in reaching 85 not out as Gloucestershire posted 394.
The visitors then saw Will Jefferson depart to the first ball of their innings, bowled by Jon Lewis, and three wickets from David Payne left them reeling on 49 for five.
Ned Eckersley and Wayne White put on 81 for the sixth wicket before Leicestershire closed on 131 for six, still 263 in arrears.
There were two centurions at Derby today, where bat continued to dominate ball in the match between Derbyshire and Kent.
Ross Whiteley converted his overnight 71 into 130 not out as the home side reached 535 all out, despite David Balcombe claiming another two wickets to finish with 6-128.
Kent’s reply got off to a bad start as they slipped to 77 for three, but Joe Denly, who was dropped by Luke Sutton on 33, struck an unbeaten 142 to help them finish the day on 279 for four, trailing by 256. Azhar Mahmood was alongside Denly on 60.