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  • Specsavers County Championship 10m

    Div Two: Thrilling finish in prospect at Trent Bridge

    The top of the table clash at Trent Bridge remains firmly in the balance going into Day Three, while Mark Wood showed his value with the bat for Durham, scoring a career-best 72*

    A thrilling conclusion is in store at Trent Bridge on Day Three, while Mark Wood and Graham Onions star for Durham at the Emirates Riverside.

    Northants 426 v Sussex 172 & 34/1
    Nottinghamshire 193 & 138/5 v Worcestershire 243
    Leicestershire 222 & 154/7 v Gloucestershire 368
    Derbyshire 236/9 v Glamorgan
    Durham 217 & 145/2 v Kent 206

    NOTTINGHAMSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE

    A half century from Riki Wessels has left Nottinghamshire’s match against Worcestershire firmly in the balance. Wessels scored 60, having made his runs from 79 balls, with nine fours, as Notts closed on 138 for five, in their second innings, a lead of 88.

    Momentum swung between the top two sides in the Division Two table, with 388 runs being scored during the day, for the loss of 16 wickets. Notts were still batting in their first innings at the start of play but were soon dismissed for 193, with Joe Leach taking the final wicket to fall, to finish with figures of three for 47. Worcestershire responded by making 243, a lead of 50. Ed Barnard, who took four wickets on the first day, scored 55, making his runs from 72 balls, with eight fours. Ben Cox was also amongst the runs, making 47 and sharing in a stand of 75 with Barnard, as the visitors seized a modest lead, having been reduced to 89 for six at one stage.

    Steven Mullaney took four of the wickets, at a personal cost of only 31, with Brett Hutton and Jake Ball sharing the other six. When play began Ball was dismissed for just five to the ninth ball of the day, edging Joe Leach to first slip. In Worcestershire’s reply, George Rhodes and Daryl Mitchell added 38 for the first wicket, a partnership that was broken by Hutton. Mitchell, on 23, pushed at the all-rounder and nicked behind to Chris Read. From a position of some promise, Worcestershire then slid to 56 for four, with Steven Mullaney removing Tom Fell and Joe Clarke with successive deliveries, before Hutton had Brett D’Oliveira caught at third slip.

    Ravi Ashwin signalled his intentions by hitting his second scoring shot over the extra cover ropes for six, just before lunch. Ball picked up two further wickets in the early stages of the middle session, by having Rhodes caught behind for 32 and Ashwin taken at slip for 19.

    Cox and Barnard’s stand spanned 12 overs and was ended when Wessels took a sharp catch at first slip to send back the Worcestershire ‘keeper. At the other end Barnard’s 50 had come from 58 balls and he appeared untroubled until being pinned lbw on the back leg. Leach swung the bat, to good effect, in making 28, as did Jack Shantry, who was last out, for an entertaining 20.

    Nottinghamshire’s second innings was soon in disarray as Leach nipped out both Mullaney and Cheteshwar Pujara. The deficit was still 25 when Samit Patel clipped Josh Tongue to Ashwin at midwicket. Alex Hales, playing his last red ball innings of the summer, could only make 12 before being taken by a sharp, low, catch at third slip by Clarke. Wessels played positively from the off, reaching his 50 from 65 balls in just one hour of batting. He received solid support in a partnership of 85 with opener Jake Libby, who remains undefeated on 42.

    At the close of play, Mullaney said: “Worcestershire are slightly ahead, at the minute, but we know we are only one or two partnerships away from getting a decent lead and a defendable one.

    “It’s been nice for me to get some extra responsibility as part of the four-man seam attack and am really enjoying it, getting on early. (on the Clarke dismissal) – I didn’t know which way it was going to go, it nipped back and because he’s such a high quality batsman it was nice to get him first ball,” he added.

    NORTHAMPTONSHIRE V SUSSEX

    Rory Kleinveldt took his first five-wicket haul of the season to put Northamptonshire on course for a maximum points victory over Sussex at Wantage Road to revive their promotion ambitions in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship. Kleinveldt took 5 for 50 to dismiss Sussex for just 172 after the home side were bowled out for 426 before lunch on the second day. The follow-on was enforced and at the close, Sussex were 34 for 1, trailing by 220.

    Northants produced a fine all-round display after they boosted their overnight 329 for 5 with a debut fifty for Luke Procter and a stand of 72 with Josh Cobb. Their lower-order was whittled out - the last five wickets went for just 25 runs in 44 balls - but the total appeared well over-par with what followed.

    Kleinveldt began with a probing 10-over new ball spell, rewarded with the wicket of Angus Robson, who defended a ball into his leg stump for 33, but wasn’t seen again until after tea. When he did return, he tore into the Sussex lower-order. Ben Brown feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper David Murphy, who received his county cap at the tea break. David Wiese and Danny Briggs were both clean bowled by deliveries which just straightened enough and Ollie Robinson belted a straight drive back at Kleinveldt who clung on for fine return catch.

    The earlier work was done by Azharullah who tied down Luke Wells before he went to pull and skied the ball off the splice of the bat and was well caught by Rob Newton running back from mid-off for 14. Wells was later out pulling for the second time in the day as Sussex came out to face 14 overs before the close.

    Azharullah’s second spell removed Chris Nash, who arrived in good form and counter-attacked with five boundaries, making 30 before getting a feather-edge to Murphy. Stiaan van Zyl’s innings was initially a tortured one as he played and missed regularly and edged Procter at catchable height between third slip and gully. But he found his touch with a flowing cover drive off Procter and a well-timed flick against Azharullah. Just when he was providing some solidity for Sussex, he received a beauty from Simon Kerrigan that turned out of the footholds between bat and pad and took out leg stump.

    Kerrigan, on loan from Lancashire, bowled with excellent control and also drew an outside edge from Chris Jordan that was very well held by Richard Levi diving back to his left from slip. It was a fine performance from Northants who, in the first session of the day, claimed maximum batting bonus points for the first time this season with Procter, on-loan from Lancashire for the rest of the season, playing smartly for a debut half-century in 97 balls.

    DURHAM v KENT

    Kent skipper Sam Northeast scored more than half his side's runs before he was last out for 110 in the Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

    All out for 206, with Graham Onions taking six for 62, Kent trailed by 11 and in 22 overs Durham reached 57 for two in their second innings.

    They were also indebted to the all-round efforts of Mark Wood on his comeback from the heel injury which had sidelined him since the second Test against South Africa in mid-July.

    His career-best 72 not out rescued Durham from 77 for seven in the morning and he followed up with three for 48. He shared an eighth-wicket stand of 106 with James Weighell, who made 55 before Mitch Claydon took the last three wickets to finish with five for 54 on his old stamping ground.

    In recording his best figures for two years, Onions was on the mark from the outset, pinning Sean Dickson lbw then beating Joe Denly's forward defensive push to take out the off stump.

    The fact that 18 wickets fell in the day made Northeast's effort all the more remarkable. He went in at 14 for two and got off the mark with an edged four when trying to withdraw his bat. But at tea he had propelled his team to 134 for three from 26 overs.

    He sped to 50 off 45 balls with ten fours, despite losing Daniel Bell-Drummond, who grafted hard for his 26, only to surrender when he tried to pull Wood and lobbed a catch to mid-on.

    Starting with the second ball after tea, Kent lost five wickets for 13 runs. Zak Crawley was lbw to one from Wood which looked a little high and three balls later Darren Stevens hung out his bat and edged behind.

    Left-hander Calum Haggett pushed limply down the wrong line to have off and middle rattled by Onions and the surrender continued as Adam Milne edged a lavish drive.

    Sam Billings, suffering from a migraine, went in at 147 for seven and departed first ball, having his leg bail trimmed when aiming for mid-wicket.

    Claydon clubbed three fours in contributing 16 to a stand of 28 before driving to deep mid-off to give Onions his sixth wicket. On 81 when last man Imran Qayyum joined him, Northeast farmed the strike and cut Wood over backward point for six on the way to his 102-ball century, which included 17 fours.

    He finally fell when he edged a forcing back-foot shot off Weighell to give wicketkeeper Michael Richardson his third catch. With Billings resting, Kent emerged with Bell-Drummond behind the stumps and he held the catch off Haggett which removed the struggling Keaton Jennings for 13.

    Haggett also brought one back a long way to bowl Cameron Steel, shouldering arms, for nought.KENT skipper Sam Northeast scored more than half his side's runs before he was last out for 110 in the Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

    All out for 206, with Graham Onions taking six for 62, Kent trailed by 11 and in 22 overs Durham reached 57 for two in their second innings. They were also indebted to the all-round efforts of Mark Wood on his comeback from the heel injury which had sidelined him since the second Test against South Africa in mid-July.

    His career-best 72 not out rescued Durham from 77 for seven in the morning and he followed up with three for 48. He shared an eighth-wicket stand of 106 with James Weighell, who made 55 before Mitch Claydon took the last three wickets to finish with five for 54 on his old stamping ground.

    In recording his best figures for two years, Onions was on the mark from the outset, pinning Sean Dickson lbw then beating Joe Denly's forward defensive push to take out the off stump.

    The fact that 18 wickets fell in the day made Northeast's effort all the more remarkable. He went in at 14 for two and got off the mark with an edged four when trying to withdraw his bat. But at tea he had propelled his team to 134 for three from 26 overs.

    He sped to 50 off 45 balls with ten fours, despite losing Daniel Bell-Drummond, who grafted hard for his 26, only to surrender when he tried to pull Wood and lobbed a catch to mid-on.

    Starting with the second ball after tea, Kent lost five wickets for 13 runs. Zak Crawley was lbw to one from Wood which looked a little high and three balls later Darren Stevens hung out his bat and edged behind.

    Left-hander Calum Haggett pushed limply down the wrong line to have off and middle rattled by Onions and the surrender continued as Adam Milne edged a lavish drive.

    Sam Billings, suffering from a migraine, went in at 147 for seven and departed first ball, having his leg bail trimmed when aiming for mid-wicket. Claydon clubbed three fours in contributing 16 to a stand of 28 before driving to deep mid-off to give Onions his sixth wicket.

    On 81 when last man Imran Qayyum joined him, Northeast farmed the strike and cut Wood over backward point for six on the way to his 102-ball century, which included 17 fours. He finally fell when he edged a forcing back-foot shot off Weighell to give wicketkeeper Michael Richardson his third catch.

    With Billings resting, Kent emerged with Bell-Drummond behind the stumps and he held the catch off Haggett which removed the struggling Keaton Jennings for 13. Haggett also brought one back a long way to bowl Cameron Steel, shouldering arms, for nought.

    LEICESTERSHIRE v GLOUCESTERSHIRE

    Gloucestershire's top order batsmen put the visitors into a strong position, trailing Leicestershire by just five runs with seven first innings wickets in hand, at the end of the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at the Fischer County Ground.

    An opening partnership of 96, the biggest of the game so far, between openers Cameron Bancroft and Chris Dent laid the foundations for Gloucestershire after the seamers had continued the good work they had begun on day one, when only 26.3 overs had been possible.

    Resuming on 90-4, Leicestershire quickly lost Neil Dexter, the South African wafting at a wide delivery from Josh Shaw to give Gareth Roderick a simple catch behind the wicket.

    Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove, not out 38 overnight, picked up where he had left off, twice guiding Liam Norwell to the boundary behind square on the off-side as he passed 50. The Australian was given good support by Lewis Hill in adding 68 for the sixth wicket before Cosgrove, on 92, was beaten by a full in-swinging delivery from the left-arm seamer to be dismissed leg before.

    Ben Raine was also leg before, to a gently seaming delivery from Kieran Noema-Barnett that would have gone on to hit the left-hander's leg stump, and the New Zealander picked up a second wicket when Matt Pillans' off-side force sent the ball looping towards point, where Jack Taylor held the low catch.

    Lewis Hill cut a short wide delivery from Josh Shaw straight to Taylor at point, before Clint McKay's lofted off-drive was well held by George Hankins at short extra cover, again off the bowling of Shaw, to end the innings.

    With the pitch, green-tinged throughout the damp first day, beginning to flatten, Bancroft and Dent found batting a rather more straightforward prospect than their Leicestershire counter-parts, though to what extent that was down to less effective bowling was a matter of debate.

    The Foxes may also have been unfortunate to have several vociferous leg before appeals turned down, but they did not help themselves by failing to hold their catches, wicketkeeper Hill being particularly culpable when he grassed a straightforward chance given by Bancroft when he edged a Raine delivery on 21.

    Hill partially redeemed himself when Bancroft thin-edged Dexter on 42, but Dent and then Roderick both passed 50. Dent eventually fell leg before to Raine, and Roderick was furious with himself after guiding a wide delivery from Dexter straight to first slip, but Gloucestershire had almost overhauled Leicestershire's first innings score when bad light ended play 13.1 overs early.

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