Warwickshire extend lead at summit

Lv County Championship

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Tim Ambrose's unbeaten 151 ensured Warwickshire claimed five batting bonus points and edged closer to the LV= County Championship Division One title at Edgbaston.

The in-form wicketkeeper added to his overnight 64 alongside Chris Wright and Ian Blackwell, who hit 53 and 69 not out respectively in the hosts' 504 for six declared.

Nottinghamshire then stuttered in the reply as Wright claimed two early wickets, including a freak one when James Taylor trod on his own stumps, with Keith Barker and Tom Milnes chipping in with one apiece.

Alex Hales and skipper Chris Read showed impressive defiance thereafter, however, closing on 80 and 54 in Notts' 188 for four.

Surrey boosted their chances of staying in the top-flight by dismissing Somerset for just 294 to secure a narrow first-innings lead at Taunton.

Murali Kartik returned to haunt his former club as he and Stuart Meaker claimed four wickets apiece; Somerset were 23 runs in arrears despite James Hildreth compiling 85 and Peter Trego 92.

The visitors' lead was at 81 by the close as they reached 58 without loss second time round.

An intriguing finish was set up at New Road, where late wickets boosted Middlesex against Worcestershire.

The visitors resumed on 49 without loss, but came up against an in-form Alan Richardson, who claimed 4-62, as they were bowled out for 306 despite Neil Dexter's 90.

That gave Worcestershire a lead of 17, though Toby Roland-Jones then continued his fine season by taking two wickets as the home side were reduced to 44 for three.

Ian Blackwell & Tim Ambrose

Tim Ambrose celebrates his unbeaten ton as leaders Warwickshire claimed maximum batting points against title rivals Nottinghamshire

Fellow strugglers Lancashire looked to be heading for a draw against Durham at Aigburth.

Following yesterday's washout, play did not begin until 1pm - though the visitors quickly made their mark as the Red Rose, having resumed on 221 for six, were dismissed for the addition of just 41, Graham Onions finishing with 6-41.

In reply, Durham were well set at 187 for four, with Keaton Jennings hitting 70.

Some strong lower-order resistance from Derbyshire ensured the Division Two leaders recovered after Essex seamer David Masters claimed a five-wicket haul at Derby.

Resuming the day 28 for three after Masters’ double strike, the hosts were soon struggling on 120 for seven as the seamer completed figures of 5-51 off 30 overs.

However, Ross Whiteley’s 56 and 55 from number nine Tom Poynton helped Derbyshire secure a first-innings lead of 21 by propelling them to 226 all out.

Despite Jaik Mickleburgh departing early, Tom Westley and Owais Shah hit 51 and 26 not out to take Essex to 85 for one, a lead of 64.

Promotion-chasing Yorkshire’s bid to make ground on second-placed Hampshire was dealt another blow when rain left Scarborough unplayable for the second successive day, with the White Rose waiting to resume on 61 for two in reply to Gloucestershire’s 215.

Matthew Boyce struck an unbeaten half-century to help Leicestershire recover against Kent at Grace Road.

When Brendan Nash fell for 119, the visitors, after adding 28 in five overs, declared on 350 for eight having secured their fourth batting bonus point.

Charlie Shreck then reduced Leicestershire to 14 for two, but Will Jones and Boyce put on 93 for the third wicket until the former departed for 48.

Boyce then helped his side reach 171 for three thanks to his 78 from 140 balls, with Josh Cobb alongside him on 31.

Northamptonshire piled on the runs versus Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

Irishman Niall O’Brien took his overnight 114 to 182 and was well supported by David Murphy, who made 54, as Northamptonshire declared on 432 for eight.

Will Bragg and Nick James saw out a tricky seven-over spell to guide Glamorgan to 10 without loss.

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