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  • Specsavers County Championship 6m

    Div Two reports: Wakely produces century on weather-hit day

    Day three was rain-affected throughout but Northants' Alex Wakely performed superbly with a century

    Notts are also closing in on another victory, with Northants excelling thanks to the efforts of two high-performing batsmen.

    Durham 197 v Worcestershire 367 -no play due to rain 
    Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 288 & 2/0
    Northamptonshire 261 & 60/3 v Leicestershire 157
    Nottinghamshire 371 v Kent 180 & 105/4
    Sussex 358/9d v Gloucestershire 150/1

    GLAMORGAN v DERBYSHIRE

    The spectators who had waited four hours before play started, were rewarded for their patience as they saw Derbyshire dismissed for 160 in 44.2 overs, and leave Glamorgan 212 to win.

    They faced six overs and with the final ball of the day, and without a run on the board, Jeevan Mendis trapped Jacques Rudolph leg before.

    Derbyshire will be quietly confident of winning only their first Championship game since beating Leicestershire in September 2015, as the ball is turning, with Mendis and the 16-year-old off spinner Hamidullah Qadri, capable of troubling the Glamorgan batsmen.

    Resuming at 2 for 0, Derbyshire lost both nightwatchmen in Marchant De Lange’s first two overs. Tom Taylor was bowled by the fourth ball of the day, before Tony Palladino was caught at cover point from a leading edge.

    Billy Godleman, who had batted 43 overs for his 34 in the first innings, counter-attacked effectively to score 27 from 22 balls, before he became De Lange’s third victim when he parried a lifting ball to gully. Andrew Salter was introduced when De Lange was rested, and despite being swept for four by Wayne Madsen from successive balls, Salter got his revenge when Madsen prodded to short leg.

    Luis Reece held the innings together with a fluent half century which included eight boundaries, but Derbyshire then lost four wickets for 16 runs. Graham Wagg removed Gary Wilson and Alex Hughes, while Salter, obtaining enough turn to trouble the batsmen, also took two wickets, including Reece for 55.

    After a breezy knock from Mendis, the innings ended with Timm Van Der Gugten taking the final two wickets in successive overs.

    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE v LEICESTERSHIRE

    Centuries from Alex Wakely and Rob Keogh gave Northamptonshire an excellent chance to pick up a fifth victory in the Specsavers County Championship. They set Leicestershire 394 to win at Wantage Road but the visitors survived for 16 overs under the lights until the close of day three at 9.57pm, reaching 44 for 0.

    In-form Wakely said: “We’re now in a really good position in this game, we’d have liked a couple of wickets before the close, we bowled well but they batted well.

    “Hopefully it’s cloudy tomorrow because Leicestershire have got some talented batsman that can win them this game.”

    Both Wakely and Keogh made their first Championship centuries of the season as Northants quickly built up a big lead. They declared in perfect time with the skies dark enough to encourage the pink ball to swing but unlike on the first evening where the hosts took four wickets, they failed to find a breakthrough as Paul Horton and on-loan Surrey batsman Arun Harinath got through a very tricky period, several edges falling short of the slips cordon and strong lbw appeals from Richard Gleeson against Harinath and Azharullah against Horton turned down.

    Until the wicketless final hour, it was a perfect day for Northants. After a three hour delay due to a wet outfield, Wakely and Keogh resumed with their side 60 for 3 and the game still in the balance. But Leicestershire couldn't swing the ball and didn’t bowl accurately enough to even contain Northants - 146 runs came in 28 overs before tea.

    Wakely suggested Northants would look to be positive before the start of play and was true to his word. He made half-centuries in the second innings of Northants' previous two matches and here went past fifty again in 55 balls with five fours - only after being put down by Harinath at point on 44.

    He looked in excellent touch - rocking back to pull Dieter Klein over midwicket and lifting Rob Sayer’s off spin over long-on for six. A fierce cut against Matt Pillans raced to the cover point boundary to raise a century in 108 balls. Wakely was eventually caught at short third man for 112 trying to reserve sweep Sayer.

    With Keogh, Wakely shared 171 for the fourth wicket - a partnership that took the game away from Leicestershire, who bizarrely only used their strike bowler Klein for seven overs in the second innings.

    Keogh’s day began with a clip to fine leg for four and he played the shot of the match - a gorgeous extra-cover drive off Clint McKay - on his way to just a second Championship fifty of the season in 77 balls with seven fours.

    He then skipped down the pitch to lift Sayer over mid-off before sweeping the same bowler for another boundary in front of square. He took tea 70 not out and after the break was forced to work the bowling around against a defensive field, eventually going through to his seventh first-class century in 136 balls - a very pleasant innings and much-needed after a poor first half of the Championship season.

    NOTTIGHAMSHIRE v KENT

    Nottinghamshire are closing in on their sixth victory of the Specsavers County Championship season after reducing Kent to 214 for seven on a rain-shortened third day at Trent Bridge.

    The visitors lead by only 23 runs, with only one day remaining, but there is some doubt as to whether Darren Stevens will bat again after he retired hurt shortly after ducking into a short ball from Harry Gurney, who has taken three for 61.

    Persistent drizzle prevented any play until 5.45pm and the resumption enabled Joe Weatherley to begin a meaningful role in the contest. Having acted as 12th man for the first two days Weatherley, the nominated substitute for the Lions-bound Sam Billings, continued the Kent innings alongside Will Gidman.

    Still trailing by 86 runs at the start of play, the visitors survived for 45 minutes until Steven Mullaney entered the attack and bowled Gidman for 26.

    Stevens, who had missed most of the second day with a heel injury, had a life on 15 when Luke Fletcher put down a difficult chance running backwards at mid-off. Stevens was then struck on the head but after extensive checks by the physio, plus a change of helmet, he decided to play on.

    Weatherley’s resistance was breached by the returning James Pattinson, who bowled the Hampshire loanee with a rapid yorker for 16. Before another ball had been bowled Stevens decided to retire hurt, walking off under his own steam.

    The double departure left two new men at the crease but their partnership was brief as Matt Coles nicked his second delivery behind.

    Adam Rouse and Adam Milne held firm, either side of a 20-minute stoppage, to push their side into the overall lead and have added 47 together so far but they may need the help of some extended bad weather to avoid a second consecutive defeat.

    SUSSEX v GLOUCESTERSHIRE

    Just 45 overs were possible at drizzly Hove with Sussex’s match against Gloucestershire destined for a draw unless the rival captains can conjure up with a final-day run chase.

    Play was restricted to three spells, the lengthiest 32.1 overs in the middle session, and at stumps Gloucestershire had reached 150 for 1 in reply to Sussex’s 358 for 9 declared.

    The floodlights stayed on throughout but the pink ball did little to assist Sussex’s seamers while Gloucestershire’s batsmen settled for steady accumulation on a slow pitch with a damp outfield a further frustration.

    Cameron Bancroft made his second successive Championship half-century and Abi Sakande, Sussex’s promising 22-year-old seamer, was rewarded for an impressive spell with his first wicket in four-day cricket.

    But with Gloucestershire still 198 behind, it will need some imaginative declarations to ensure a decent finish with 150 overs lost so far, including the entire second day.

    Bancroft, the 24-year-old from Perth, showed admirable application in the tough conditions, although he would have been run out on 31 had Jofra Archer’s shy at the stumps at the non-striker’s end hit the target. He put on 62 with Chris Dent before Sakande’s big moment when Dent mis-timed a pull and was held at deep mid-wicket for 31.

    Will Tavare, too, had a let-off on 17 when he drove left-arm spinner Danny Briggs to mid-on but David Wiese failed to cling on to a difficult chance above his head, despite getting both hands on the ball.

    The ground was virtually deserted when play resumed for the final time at 9pm and Gloucestershire’s second-wicket pair extended their stand to 82 from 27 overs with Bancroft 69 and Tavare 43 not out at stumps.

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