Surrey pursue vital win
Zander de Bruyn and Gary Wilson struck half-centuries as Surrey gained the upper hand against Nottinghamshire in their search for a win to secure LV= County Championship Division One status.
Having started their second innings on the third morning at the Kia Oval with an advantage of 42, Surrey lost both Rory Burns for an enterprising 44 and Kevin Pietersen to the left-arm spin of Graeme White to be precariously placed on 92 for four.
De Bruyn and Jason Roy steadied the ship with a stand of 72 and, when the latter fell to Sam Wood’s off-spin for 41, Wilson came to the crease.
A potentially decisive 90-run partnership followed before de Bruyn became White’s fourth scalp on 78. Wilson soon followed for 57 to help Wood compile figures of 3-64.
Nevertheless, 304 all out left Notts with a daunting chase of 347 on the final day, having used nightwatchman Harry Gurney to play out a solitary over this evening without loss or score.
If Surrey do win, Lancashire must do likewise at Middlesex to set up a final-round relegation decider with the Londoners at Aigburth next week.
However, a draw appears to be favourite at Lord’s with the hosts 129 for two after Lancashire surpassed their first-innings 446 by two runs this afternoon.
Karl Brown and Gareth Cross followed Tom Smith, Paul Horton and Ashwell Prince by making half-centuries in the sort of cohesive batting performance that has lacked far too often for the Red Rose this season.
Skipper Glen Chapple sparked hopes of a victory charge by trapping Sam Robson lbw in the third over, but opposite number Chris Rodgers took the sting out of the situation and compiled 57 not out by the close.
Warwickshire scythed through the Worcestershire order and claimed the eight wickets they needed to succeed Lancashire as County Champions by mid-afternoon.
Keith Barker yorked home captain Daryl Mitchell for an early breakthrough and, with the sole exception of Moeen Ali’s 72 not out, there was scant resistance thereafter.
Chris Wright claimed the last three wickets, ripping out the stumps on each occasion to end with 4-65, sparking delirious scenes at New Road.
A destructive late burst from Steve Magoffin kept Sussex on course for victory over Somerset.
Chasing an improbable 396 for victory, Somerset made an impressive start as openers Marcus Trescothick and Arul Suppiah contributed 71 and 70 respectively before Monty Panesar bowled the former England batsman.
Magoffin, with 3-15 off 14 overs, then accounted for Suppiah, Chris Jones and nightwatchman Steve Kirby as 147 for one became 155 for four at stumps.
Earlier, Alfonso Thomas kept Somerset’s faint victory hopes alive by tearing apart Sussex’s middle order in claiming 5-68 that included centurion Chris Nash and Murray Goodwin for 77 on his final appearance at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Sam Northeast struck a century as promotion-chasing Kent put the pressure on Division Two leaders Derbyshire heading in to the final day at Canterbury.
The opener contributed 165 to a Kent total of 342 for eight declared, with Brendan Nash and Michael Powell also compiling half-centuries to leave Derbyshire with a huge victory target of 404.
Mark Davies, who claimed a five-wicket haul in the first innings, then removed Wayne Madsen for a duck to reduce Derbyshire to 30 for one, requiring another 374 to win on day four.
Yorkshire strengthened their push for promotion back to Division One at the first attempt with a resounding eight-wicket success over Glamorgan at Headingley Carnegie.
Steven Patterson shone with the ball again with figures of 4-47 and Moin Ashraf took 3-42 as the visitors, despite 48 from Jim Allenby and Graham Wagg’s late 31-ball 36, were dismissed for just 182.
The White Rose, requiring just 111 to claim their second successive triumph, eased home with the loss of just two wickets thanks to 50 from Adam Lyth.
Hampshire’s chances of securing a place in the top flight next season suffered a blow as Essex dominated at the Ageas Bowl.
Owais Shah took his overnight 124 to 161 and received good support from Ryan ten Doeschate and James Foster, who added 69 and 61 respectively, as Essex posted a second-innings 475, setting their opponents a mammoth 427 to win.
A wicket for Reece Topley and a double breakthrough from Maurice Chambers reduced the hosts to 23 for three before Jimmy Adams and Liam Dawson, with 36 and 25, took their side to 73 for three, 354 away from their target.
Liam Norwell’s match figures of 8-74 helped Gloucestershire beat Northamptonshire by 207 runs at Bristol.
Andrew Hall took 5-50 as Gloucestershire could only add another 25 to their overnight 286 for six, setting Northants a chase of 432.
Despite half-centuries from David Sales and Hall, Norwell’s 5-51 skittled Northants for just 224 in 65 overs.