Borthwick shines before showers
Scott Borthwick helped Durham seize the advantage in their LV= County Championship Division One clash with fellow strugglers Worcestershire, only for rain to reduce the likelihood of a positive result at New Road.
Leg-spinner Borthwick, capped three times by England in limited-overs cricket, picked up the key wicket of Phil Hughes for 87 and ran through the middle order en route to 4-37 as Worcestershire collapsed from 145 for two to 205 all out on the third day of four.
Durham duly progressed to 67 without loss and a lead of 105, but no play was possible after tea and both sides may yet be frustrated in their bid to secure a first win of the campaign.
Showers also wiped out the evening session on day two at Uxbridge, where Nottinghamshire retained control of their match with Middlesex through Adam Voges’ century.
Voges struck 105 and shared 143 with skipper Chris Read, the other key contributor with 71, to propel the visitors to 329 all out. Both men were dropped early in their innings.
Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones finished with four wickets apiece for Middlesex, who trailed by 231 on first innings.
There was further rain and another centurion at Guildford.
Steven Croft’s unbeaten 104 enabled Lancashire to reach 425 for seven against Surrey, who were frustrated by a seventh-wicket partnership of 121 that contained 46 from Red Rose skipper Glen Chapple.
Ian Bell warmed up for England’s Investec Tests against South Africa with a stylish innings of 57 in Warwickshire’s meeting with Sussex, which started today.
On a day when only 65 overs were possible at Edgbaston, Bell’s innings, together with 43 from Will Porterfield and Jim Troughton’s unbeaten 42, helped Warwickshire set a solid base in reaching 175 for three.
Precipitation also disrupted the action in Division Two, although there was time for Ed Cowan to register a century on championship debut for Gloucestershire against Essex.
Cowan, in his solitary four-day appearance for the club before he captains Australia A against England Lions, took his score on to 103 after resuming on 51 this morning at Cheltenham.
Hamish Marshall added 72 not out as Gloucestershire, 147 for two overnight, moved on to 284 for four in 100 overs.
Just 26 overs were possible at the Ageas Bowl, where there had been a total washout yesterday.
After being inserted by Hampshire, visitors Yorkshire lost three cheap wickets, including Jonny Bairstow for a golden duck.
Joe Root’s unbeaten 46 aided a recovery from Jason Gillespie’s men, who were 83 for three when the rain returned.