Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire frustrated
Nottinghamshire moved level on points with Warwickshire at the top of LV= County Championship Division One as each had to settle for drawing games they had dominated. Both lead third-placed Somerset by 18 points, but Notts are at the summit by virtue of not having lost.
Notts yesterday assumed a first-innings lead of 349 over Sussex at Trent Bridge, yet a 216-run opening stand between Chris Nash and Ed Joyce helped the visitors to save the game.
Resuming today with 79 and 63 respectively of a 146-run total, Joyce fell to Samit Patel for 98 but Nash went on to 162 when Andy Carter struck. Nash had put on 98 with Luke Wells, who was caught and bowled by Riki Wessels for 59.
Although Patel bowled Murray Goodwin for 31 and Harry Gurney cheaply accounted for Michael Yardy, it was in vain as Sussex ended on 385 for five and leap-frogged Middlesex into fourth - albeit from a match more.
Warwickshire, who have a game in hand on Notts, yesterday forced Surrey to follow on at Edgbaston. After a delayed start, the visitors picked up on 38 without loss and opener Zafar Ansari ended unbeaten on a first-class best 83 of 203 for three.
Rory Burns, who resumed on 19 to Ansari’s 12, dominated a stand of 74 before being bowled by Boyd Rankin for 42.
Jeetan Patel had Arun Harinath caught behind for nought and also snared Zander de Bruyn, but Ansari and Jason Roy’s unbeaten 42 battened down the hatches. Surrey accordingly moved above Lancashire into sixth.
Promotion-chasing Yorkshire, Hampshire and Kent were frustrated by draws in rain-hit contests, leaving Division Two leaders Derbyshire 14 points clear with a match in hand.
Less than 36 overs were possible today at Grace Road where Leicestershire, who moved off the foot of the table at Glamorgan’s expense, advanced from 57 for two to 157 for seven in their second innings versus Yorkshire, who went second.
The White Rose began well as Steve Harmison, on loan from Durham, added two wickets to his one yesterday, cheaply accounting for Ramnaresh Sarwan and first-innings centurion Matthew Boyce. Three balls after Boyce fell, Steven Patterson had Shiv Thakor lbw for nought to leave the hosts 78 for five - still 88 behind.
However, number three Ned Eckersley and Wayne White resisted until White was caught behind for 44 off Azeem Rafiq, who also snared Eckersley for a dogged 26.
Captain Jimmy Adams saved Hampshire, who ended nine wickets down and 11 runs ahead of Kent in their second innings at the Ageas Bowl. Adams struck 85 not out from the top of the order, but his side dropped a place to third.
The visitors added 29 to their overnight 438 for eight, James Tredwell and Matt Coles making 31 and 29 respectively. Tredwell, who later took 3-62 from 33 overs, was caught behind off Sean Ervine, who returned 4-96.
Trailing by 175 on first innings, Hampshire slipped to 10 for three with Charlie Shreck striking twice, yet Adams led a recovery alongside Liam Dawson and Sean Ervine, who contributed 28 and 31 respectively.
However, from 110 for five, the hosts lost four wickets for 34 runs until Danny Briggs shared last-ditch partnership of 42 in 20.3 overs.