Scintillating Surrey fall narrowly short
Surrey had to settle for a draw at New Road after superb performances from three of their young guns had threatened to carry them to a remarkable victory over Worcestershire.
After following on 172 behind yesterday, Chris Adams’s side roared to 431 for seven in their second innings, thanks largely to a 154-ball 143 from Tom Maynard, his highest first-class score, and skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown’s similarly brisk 115.
Seamer George Edwards, making his LV= County Championship debut in the absence of England Lions duo Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker, then returned 4-44, but Matthew Pardoe hit 38 not out as Worcestershire hung on to reach stumps on 150 for eight.
The hosts were forced to make do without talismanic seamer Alan Richardson after he picked up a shoulder injury yesterday.
The loss of two successive days’ play to rain ultimately cost Somerset at the Emirates Durham ICG, where struggling Durham salvaged a draw on home soil.
Craig Kieswetter was left stranded on 96 this morning as Somerset secured a first-innings lead of 142 by posting 267 all out.
When Durham were reduced to 186 for seven, an away win still appeared possible, but Ian Blackwell defied his former club with an unbeaten 38. The match was brought to a close with Durham 92 ahead on 234 for nine and only a handful of overs remaining.
England Test captain Andrew Strauss compiled an unbeaten 43 as Middlesex comfortably held on for a draw at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire.
Sam Robson chipped in with 39 as the visitors cruised to 87 without loss on the fourth evening after being set a nominal target of 298.
First-innings centurion Michael Lumb had earlier made 55 and Steven Mullaney followed his first-innings 60 with 73 as Notts declared on 174 for seven. Both Lumb and Mullaney fell to off-spinner Ollie Rayner, who finished with 4-67 after striking 143 not out the previous day.
Ajmal Shahzad made an immediate impression on his Lancashire debut, but it was Sussex who dominated when play finally got underway after three straight washouts at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Reigning champions Lancashire failed to secure any bonus points with the bat as they stumbled to 144 for eight after winning the toss.
Shahzad then struck twice in his first over and again in his third, but he and the rest of the Red Rose attack came in for heavy punishment thereafter as Sussex, for whom Matt Prior and Michael Yardy struck 86 and 63 respectively, raced to 300 for eight inside 48 overs.
In Division Two, Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance struck centuries, the latter’s unbeaten, as Yorkshire produced a remarkable run chase to see off Gloucestershire by four wickets at Bristol.
Chasing 400 in 111 overs for victory, the White Rose slipped to 117 for three after losing Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale this morning.
But Australian Jaques and Ballance thwarted the hosts’ attack with a remarkable fourth-wicket stand of 203 to reduce their side's target to double figures.
Jaques eventually became one of three Will Gidman victims for 160 but Ballance continued and, after receiving excellent support from Tim Bresnan, went on to finish the game unbeaten on 121, bringing up the victory with 20 deliveries unused by striking 14 from three Ed Young balls.
Northamptonshire seamer Lee Daggett took four wickets but Leicestershire hung on for a draw at Grace Road.
The hosts declared on their overnight 38 for two and, after Northants also called a halt to their innings with 26 on the board, Leicestershire were left with 341 to win.
A partnership of 103 from West Indian batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who made 93, and Josh Cobb, dismissed for 59 by Daggett, helped their cause.
Daggett then removed Robbie Joseph and Nathan Buck lbw after Claude Henderson was run out, only for Wayne White and Matthew Hoggard to dig in and ensure Leicestershire avoided a second successive defeat.
Wes Durston and Dan Redfern reached three figures as Derbyshire raced to maximum batting points inside 88 overs against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Replying to Hampshire’s 352 for eight declared, Derbyshire were soon in trouble at 37 for three.
Kabir Ali saw Liam Dawson hold on twice to dismiss Paul Borrington and Wayne Madsen, either side of James Tomlinson snaring New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill.
Durston and Redfern led the recovery with a fourth-wicket stand of 178, the pair hitting 121 and 133 respectively.
Tony Palladino and Tim Groenewald shared an unbroken last-wicket stand of 44 to ensure Derbyshire claimed all five batting points before declaring on 403 for nine.
Essex’s clash with Kent at Chelmsford petered out into a disappointing draw.
Mark Davies took 4-20 off 24.4 overs to help dismiss Essex for 181, despite 92 from Mark Pettini, before Kent declared on 92 for two in their second innings to bring the match to a halt.