Warwickshire sit pretty despite Hales ton
Alex Hales struck a wonderful unbeaten century, but Warwickshire moved 22 points clear at the top of LV= County Championship Division One after their draw with Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston.
Hales and Chris Read, who made 155 and 95, ended the hosts’ hopes of wrapping up victory today with an impressive 222-run fifth-wicket stand to help Nottinghamshire declare on 356 for eight, 148 runs behind.
Graeme White took two quick wickets, only for Warwickshire to maintain their place at the summit by reaching 86 for three.
Worcestershire slipped closer to the relegation trap door with a five-wicket defeat to Middlesex at New Road.
Toby Roland-Jones claimed 5-46 - his second five-wicket haul of the match - to help dismiss the hosts for a second-innings 186, despite Alexei Kervezee’s 64 not out, and leave Middlesex 204 for a morale-boosting victory.
Joe Denly made 48 from number three and, although Moeen Ali snared two scalps, an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 33 between Gareth Berg and the in-form Neil Dexter, who made 26 and 15, saw their side home.
Paul Collingwood compiled a century to light up Durham’s draw against relegation-threatened Lancashire at Aigburth.
The Durham skipper hit 114 off 190 balls and shared in a seventh-wicket stand of 148 with Scott Borthwick, who made 60, as Durham were bowled out for 416, securing a first-innings lead of 164 before rain ended proceedings.
Arun Harinath made his second successive championship century as Surrey opted to bat for a draw against Somerset at Taunton.
Kevin Pietersen, a centurion earlier in the match, contributed 58 before Harinath helped Surrey declare on 360 for five with an unbeaten 105 from 191 deliveries.
Division Two leaders Derbyshire settled for a draw after Essex had set them 272 for victory at Derby.
The visitors declared on 294 for five thanks to opener Tom Westley’s 82 and half-centuries from Mark Pettini, Ryan ten Doeschate and James Foster, leaving Derbyshire 58 overs to bat.
After slipping to 51 for three, Wes Durston and Dan Redfern made 60 and 46 respectively in a 107-run alliance and, although Tom Craddock provided a nervy finish with 4-66, Derbyshire reached 173 for seven to secure a draw that takes them closer to Division One.
Yorkshire enhanced their promotion push by moving into second place courtesy of a dramatic two-wicket triumph, with just 16 balls remaining, over Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
The White Rose declared on their overnight 61 for two before letting Gloucestershire rack up 159 without loss in 10 overs to set up a chase of 314 in 84 overs.
Joe Root and Adam Lyth got the innings off to a steady start with 40 and 43 and, after Phil Jaques departed for 73, Anthony McGrath hit an unbeaten 76 to ensure Yorkshire - who chased down 400 at Bristol earlier this season - moved 19 points behind Derbyshire.
Darren Stevens took five wickets as Kent got their promotion bid back on track with a resounding 147-run success over struggling Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The hosts declared on their overnight total of 171 for three and, after Rob Key called time on Kent's second innings at 103 for two from 23 overs, required 283 for a second successive win.
Things didn’t go to plan, however, as Stevens returned 5-35 to help dismiss his former county for just 135 inside 50 overs.
Stewart Walters fell two short of a century as Glamorgan batted out the final day to secure a draw against Northamptonshire at the SWALEC Stadium.
In reply to Northants’ 432 for eight, the hosts reached 302 for five thanks to Walters’ 98 and 57 from Marcus North.