Derbyshire celebrated their first Championship win since July 2015 thanks to an inspired performance by 16-year-old debutant Hamidullah Qadri.
Durham 197 v Worcestershire 367 - abandoned
Glamorgan 237 & 172 v Derbyshire 288 & 160
Nottinghamshire 371 v Kent 180 & 265 - abandoned
Sussex 358/9d & 142/1d v Gloucestershire 150/1 & 212/6
Northamptonshire 261 & 289/7d v Leicestershire 157 & 391
GLAMORGAN V DERBYSHIRE
An inspired performance from 16-year-old Hamidullah Qadri secured Derbyshire their first Specsavers County Championship victory since July 2015.
Qadri, who is the youngest player ever to feature for the club in a Championship game, took 5/60 in the second innings as the visitors celebrated their first four-day win since beating Leicestershire 710 days ago.
A very happy Qadri, said: "It was an honour to be asked to lead the team off, especially as it was my debut and we hadn’t won for two years. I haven’t played on a turning pitch for some time, and I took every opportunity to back my skills. I know that I am good enough to play without fear, and I can’t wait for my next game.
"I took the game in my stride, and, if selected, will look forward to the [playing] next Championship game at Chesterfield, where I have taken 2 five-fors."
On a turning pitch, where the spinners accounted for 57.3 of the 69.3 overs bowled in the second innings, and took nine wickets, Glamorgan’s batsmen struggled and at one stage, the overs exceeded the runs scored.
Qadri’s excellent figures justified the decision of Kim Barnett, Derbyshire’s Head Coach, who recently said the Afghanistan-born spinner was ready for the first team. Qadri was well supported by the Sri Lankan leg spinner Jeevan Mendis, and Wayne Madsen, an occasional off spinner who took two crucial wickets mid innings.
Resuming at 64 for 4 after tea, Nick Selman and Aneurin Donald consolidated and added 50 for the fifth wicket, before Madsen, with the last ball of his first over, had Donald caught at short leg by Alex Hughes who had previously dropped three chances in that position.
Two overs later, Madsen took his second wicket when Selman, who made a patient 43 from 122 balls, was stumped down the leg side after the bowler had seen him advancing down the pitch.
Glamorgan had started the day on 0/1, but were soon losing wickets as nightwatchman Tim Van Der Gugten was caught at mid- wicket, and Owen Morgan snaffled at slip. When Glamorgan’s leading run scorer Colin Ingram holed out at mid-on, the home team were struggling on 42 for 4.
After Selman and Donald’s partnership, Glamorgan had recognised batsmen left, but Andrew Salter and Graham Wagg were both dismissed by Qadri. Salter was LBW sweeping, while Wagg was not happy to have been given out caught down the leg side, when replays suggested the ball came off his chest.
Marchant De Lange threatened with a few lusty blows, before he was needlessly run out, and Chris Cooke, who never looked in any trouble, was left stranded on 39 not out, when Michael Hogan chipped Qadri to mid-wicket.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE V KENT
Nottinghamshire were left feeling frustrated after persistent drizzle prevented them from chasing down a modest target in their Specsavers County Championship day-night match against Kent at Trent Bridge.
In the hour of cricket that was possible they picked up the final two Kent second innings wickets, leaving themselves to score just 75 but the wet weather returned before they could face a ball.
Adam Milne and Adam Rouse ensured that the unbeaten Division Two leaders were kept waiting, with a stand of 79 for the eighth wicket.
Milne, making his Kent debut, was eventually dismissed for 51 and Rouse was last to fall after scoring 35.
Harry Gurney returned figures of three for 63 for Notts, with Luke Fletcher and Steven Mullaney each striking twice.
Resuming on 214 for seven, after the first session had been lost to the weather, the visitors held only a narrow advantage of 23 as the game belatedly headed into its final act.
Hopes of an unlikely rear-guard action had taken a hit with the overnight news that Darren Stevens wouldn’t be able to return to the crease to resume his innings. The 41-year old had been struck on the helmet on the third day and had retired hurt on 31.
Milne and Rouse had already extended the contest into a fourth day and they took their stand beyond 50 before Notts took the second new pink ball.
It almost brought a wicket straightaway but Rouse was spilled at third slip by Brendan Taylor, off Fletcher.
The same bowler didn’t have to wait for long before making amends, to the immense relief of the small band of home supporters who had turned up.
New Zealand international Milne, who had been dismissed first ball on the opening day, reached his 50 with a push through the off side for two, getting there from 87 balls, but he drove at the next delivery and nicked behind for 51.
In gloomy conditions, even with the floodlights on, last man Mitchell Claydon defied the home attack for half an hour before the innings ended with the fall of Rouse.
Having batted resolutely for 142 minutes, the Kent gloveman, changed tack and heaved Mullaney high over the midwicket rope for six. Next ball he attempted a repeat but couldn’t clear Samit Patel on the same fence.
Sensing an imminent downpour Notts rushed out Alex Hales to open the batting with Mullaney but before a ball could be bowled the rain returned and the umpires led the players from the field.
The draw was an unexpected reward for Kent, who had faced an uphill battle since the first session of the match when they had been reduced to six for three after becoming the first visiting side to Trent Bridge to bat first this season.
After losing to Worcestershire last week Kent now turn their attentions to next week’s home championship match against Northamptonshire. The 8 points they take from Trent Bridge keeps them third in the table, 39 points behind the leaders, with a game in hand.
Nottinghamshire were left to gather just 12 points from a contest that they always looked like winning points and their attention now switches to white ball action and Saturday’s trip to Lord’s for the Royal London One-Day Cup final against Surrey.
Their hopes have suffered a slight setback with the confirmation that Jake Ball’s knee injury will prevent him from playing.
After the match, Notts head coach Peter Moores said: “You can’t control the weather, so it’s frustrating when you get that close and everybody has put the effort in. Anybody that has been in the game for a while will accept that this was just part of it."
SUSSEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Another eye-catching performance from Jofra Archer allowed Sussex to glimpse an improbable fourth Championship victory over Gloucestershire at Hove, with the match ending in a draw.
Gloucestershire had been set 351 to win in 75 overs, a motorway maximum of seventy an hour over five hours.
At lunch, at 30 for three, they were out of it. Once again Archer had been at the heart of the Sussex challenge, with two wickets.
He had Chris Dent caught behind and then plucked out Gareth Roderick’s off stump with a snorter in the last over before the break. Abi Sakande had taken the first wicket, bowling Cameron Bancroft for 13.
After lunch it was Archer the fielder who inspired his side, with two magnificent catches at long-leg off the bowling of Chris Jordan. First he dismissed Phil Mustard, high above his head and inches away from the ropes.
Then, just before tea, he pulled off an even better one, this time diving forward to catch George Hankins. The obdurate Hankins had provided Gloucestershire’s main middle-order resistance, with a two-hour 51.
That left Gloucestershire in serious danger of defeat, at 117 for six with one session to go. But Jack Taylor played a feisty innings in the gloaming, scoring 69 not out, and they did not lose another wicket.
Gloucestershire had declared their first innings overnight, on 150 for one, conceding a disadvantage of 208 runs.
When Sussex batted in their second innings it resembled the sort of pre-declaration bowling that was so common on Tuesdays and Fridays in the days of three-day cricket.
But with 150 overs lost to bad weather, including the whole of the second day, both sides needed to do something positive to produce the excellent finish we saw on Thursday.
Sussex thrashed 142 from 18.1 overs in their second knock, for the loss of just one wicket. It took them only 55 minutes. Harry Finch scored 74 from 59 balls, with a dozen fours, and Luke Wells hit five fours and a six in his 44.
The bowling, though, was very friendly, opened by Will Tavare and Bancroft, a fine young batsman, an occasional wicket-keeper but only a very occasional bowler, with only six balls in first class cricket before this spell, in which he conceded 67 runs from seven overs.
Some lobbed-up leg-breaks from Mustard added to the general geniality of the attack. But it all contributed to an absorbing conclusion.
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE V LEICESTERSHIRE
Northamptonshire plucked victory from the jaws of defeat against Leicestershire to win the pink-ball Specsavers County Championship match by just two runs at Wantage Road.
Colin Ackermann’s 105 and Matt Pillans’ late-order 56 were steering Leicestershire towards a record chase of 394 before Pillans, with only No. 11 Dieter Klein for company, received a ball from Rory Kleinveldt that bounced a little more and took the splice of the bat to point.
Leicestershire old-boy Josh Cobb dived forward to take the catch and Northants pulled a win out of the fire - it was Northamptonshire’s joint-second narrowest margin of victory.
A thrilling final day where Leicestershire resumed needing 350 more to win with ten wickets in hand swayed back and forth.
At 299 for 5 Leicestershire were on course to get up, only for Richard Gleeson to take two wickets in two balls seven overs into the second new ball. But then Pillans, on-loan from Surrey, swatted a 41-ball fifty - for the first time in first-class cricket - to revive the visitors’ hopes.
In need of another breakthrough, Gleeson delivered - drawing an edge from Ackerman to wicketkeeper Ben Duckett after an innings worthy of winning a game. When No. 10 Clint McKay also fell caught behind, to Kleinveldt, 26 were still needed.
But back came Leicestershire. Klein survived for 20 balls and escaped an edge behind the wicket that Duckett dropped diving to his right when seven were needed.
I've said this a few times this year... but... best game I've ever played in! What a finish! Quality performance all round @NorthantsCCC 👏🏼— Ben Duckett (@BenDuckett1) 29 June 2017
He and Pillans nudged Leicestershire to within one hit. Gleeson bowled a maiden to Klein before Kleinveldt came up with the winning moment - a potentially pivotal one for Northants’ hopes of promotion.
Leicestershire were heartbroken and denied a first win of the season. Ackermann’s century gave them a sporting chance, a well-paced innings that steered his side from danger after both openers fell in the first seven overs of play.
He faced 198 balls and struck 14 fours and a six, sharing stands of 127 with Mark Cosgrove, and 58 with both Ned Eckersley and Pillans.
Ackermann was the rock around which Leicestershire built their chase which was reduced to 117 needed with five wickets in hand in 32 overs after tea as Northants took the second new ball.
The target was brought down to 95 when Gleeson suddenly found a double breakthrough. First Lewis Hill drove at one that left him and edged to first slip. Next ball, a knee-high slower ball struck Rob Sayer and he was given out lbw to record a pair.
Ackermann edged the first ball he faced to the second new ball through third slip who had just been removed but responded to being beaten outside the off stump by Ben Sanderson by running down the wicket and lifting a six into the Spencer Pavilion over long-on and hoisting another boundary over extra-cover.
But he couldn’t win the game on his own. Enter Pillans on his Leicestershire debut, whose first-innings 35 saved Leicestershire from a huge deficit.
He uppercut Gleeson over backward point for six, pulled four more through midwicket off Sanderson and lifted the next ball over mid-off for another boundary. It looked like being a fairytale debut until Kleinveldt found a ball to snatch the dream away.
That it took until the death was of Northants’ making. Six chances were shelled, one on the third evening and five on the final day.
The biggest misses were of Cosgrove on 23 - a sitter to Alex Wakely at second slip that would have had Leicestershire three down after just over an hour’s play - and Ackerman on 43 - a flying edge to first slip that Kleinveldt put down. Duckett’s miss appeared to be one-drop-too-many but Northants had a Get Out of Jail card up their sleeves.
Northants coach David Ripley said: “It’s the year of the thriller - the fourth game from seven that’s been very tight - and it feels pretty good.