Fortuitous Warwickshire cash in

Lv County Championship

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Varun Chopra

After being dropped on two this morning, Varun Chopra batted through the first two sessions to help Warwickshire build a solid platform today

LV= County Championship leaders Warwickshire enjoyed a superb start to their final match as relegation-threatened Hampshire were made to pay for a string of errors in the field at the Rose Bowl.

After winning the toss, Jim Troughton’s side ended the opening day on 296 for three, thanks largely to centuries from Varun Chopra, who struck 109, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, unbeaten on 107 at stumps.

The duo shared 188 for the third wicket to put their side in control, yet both were dropped by Michael Carberry on a day that saw five chances go to ground prior to tea.

Warwickshire appear unlikely to secure a full complement of five batting bonus points – they would need to score 104 in the first 14 overs of play tomorrow to do so – but they have made significant strides towards a victory that could see them crowned champions for the first time since 2004.

Lancashire , who trail Warwickshire by three points, ran into a resurgent James Hildreth as they endured a trying day in the field at Taunton.

The England Lions batsman contributed a superb unbeaten 161 – only his second century of the season – to Somerset’s close-of-play 314 for five after they won the toss, having added 170 for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler, who made 68.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple, despite obvious pain from an apparent hamstring injury that had him limping for much of the day, and Gary Keedy shared four wickets on a typically unforgiving surface.

Gareth Cross & James Hildreth

James Hildreth forces the initiative to move on to a magnificent 161 not out in Somerset's 314 for five against Lancashire at Taunton

Worcestershire seamers Kemar Roach and Alan Richardson took three wickets apiece to put a dent in Durham’s bid for the championship at the Emirates Durham ICG.

Phil Mustard’s side need to triumph and hope both Warwickshire and Lancashire slip up but they were all out for 264 after they had won the toss, with new-ball pair Roach and Richardson inflicting the most damage.

Durham were boosted by a belligerent 66 from opener Will Smith, while Graham Onions had Daryl Mitchell caught behind as Worcestershire, who collected three bonus bowling points today to confirm Yorkshire’s relegation, closed on 21 for one.

If Mitchell’s side secure at least eight points, Hampshire’s fate will also be sealed.

Murray Goodwin’s unbeaten century helped Sussex reach 312 for six against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Neither side have any honours to play for this week although Goodwin’s 117 not out, allied with half-centuries from opener Ed Joyce and Matt Machan gave Michael Yardy’s men the slight edge after they had lost the toss.

In Division Two, Will Gidman took five wickets but significant contributions from Kyle Coetzer, Andrew Hall and David Willey ensured it was just about honours even between promotion rivals Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire at Wantage Road.

Hall’s men must win convincingly to seal a place in Division One next year but they got off to a shaky start when they slipped to 50 for four after winning the toss.

Tom Maynard

Tom Maynard's century takes him past 1,000 championship runs for season to help Surrey make a fantastic start against Derbyshire

A partnership of 121 for the fifth wicket between Coetzer and Hall alleviated their worries and, although they fell 16 and 14 runs short of a century respectively, Willey’s 64 steadied the visitors to 316 for nine.

Gloucestershire, who could still go up if they are victorious this week, could not make the most of their brilliant start although Gidman’s 5-60 took him past 50 championship wickets for the season.

Surrey , who lie just one point behind second-placed Northants, were grateful for Tom Maynard’s hundred as they raced to a commanding score against Derbyshire at the Kia Oval.

Maynard reached the landmark of 1,000 championship runs this season en route to 123 to help Surrey close on 400 for eight after they had chosen to bat this morning.

Steven Davies and Zander de Bruyn had earlier laid the foundations for Maynard with innings of 73 and 61 respectively, while Mark Footitt was the pick of Derbyshire’s bowlers with 3-85.

Centuries from both Greg Smith and Ned Eckersley ensured Middlesex did not have things their own way against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The rock-bottom hosts had slipped to four for three after being put into bat as leaders Middlesex, who were 12 points ahead of the chasing pack as they look to wrap up promotion this week, claimed the early initiative.

However, knocks of 108 and 106 from Smith and Eckersley helped Leicestershire to 319 all out, with Tim Murtagh, Corey Collymore and Gareth Berg picking up three wickets apiece.

In the late championship game – the first to be played with a pink ball under floodlights – Kent slipped to 167 for six against Glamorgan at Canterbury despite winning the toss.

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