Ben Compton celebrates maiden ton as Kent fight back against Essex
Ben Compton notched his maiden first-class century in England as Kent closed in on Essex’s mammoth first-innings total in their LV= County Championship Division One clash.
Compton, the South African-born grandson of former England great Denis Compton, scored a patient 129 in Chelmsford as Kent ended day three on 405 for five – 109 runs behind the hosts’ 514.
The debutant left-hander staked his claim for a regular place at the top of the order in the absence of Zak Crawley, Jack Leaning, Sam Billings and Joe Denly.
Jordan Cox weighed in with the fifth century of the match as he reached the close unbeaten on 100 and once Kent overhauled the follow-on target with only four wickets down, the draw became inevitable with a day to play.
Matt Lamb’s second first-class century underpinned Warwickshire’s fightback against Surrey as the opening-round clash between the two title contenders heads for a draw at Edgbaston.
Reigning champions Warwickshire closed on 293 for seven in reply to Surrey’s 428 for eight. The visitors are well-placed for a solid first innings lead but, with only one day left, the match appears destined for a draw.
At 41 for four early on the third morning, Warwickshire were in deep trouble but Lamb (106) and Sam Hain (78) added 157 to stall the visitors’ charge.
Hampshire raced to victory in their Division One opener by thrashing Somerset by an innings and 113 runs inside three days.
Somerset trailed by 223 runs as they resumed on 25 without loss and were skittled out for 135 in their second innings at the Ageas Bowl as Hampshire missed out on only a single bonus point to claim 23 points.
Hampshire, whose first innings total of 428 had given them a commanding lead, ripped through Somerset’s batting line-up thanks to Mohammad Abbas (four for 22) and James Fuller (three for 23).
Ryan Higgins hit an unbeaten 134 to revive Gloucestershire’s hopes of claiming an opening round win against Northamptonshire.
Higgins arrived at the crease with his side languishing on 21 for four and still 44 runs in arrears, but he teamed up with Chris Dent (54) and then Tom Lace (73) as his side reached the close with an unlikely lead of 261 and four wickets in hand.
In Division Two, a captain’s innings by Steven Mullaney helped Nottinghamshire turn their match against Sussex on its head on the third day at the 1st Central County Ground.
Mullaney, who had come to the wicket with Nottinghamshire on 52 for four in reply to Sussex’s 375, scored a career best 192, which included a stand of 144 with Joey Evison, whose unbeaten 109 was also a career highest.
The visitors declared at 534 for nine, a lead of 159 after adding 320 in the day, and had time to bowl 15 overs at their weary opposition, who were 29 for one at the close.
At Lord’s, Tom Helm’s two wickets in successive balls sparked a Derbyshire collapse to bolster Middlesex’s hopes of a win on day three.
The visitors were 304 for six in mid-afternoon chasing Middlesex’s first-innings tally of 401 and Helm trapped Anuj Dal lbw for 52 before Sam Conners was sent on his way for a golden duck next ball.
When fellow seamer Toby Roland-Jones then took two wickets in three balls in the next over, including Alex Thomson for 45, Middlesex had taken four for none in nine deliveries, leaving Derbyshire on 304 all out.
Middlesex closed on 201 for three in their second innings as Max Holden struck a rapid 68 not out, sharing an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 141 with Robbie White (79 not out) to leave the hosts 298 runs ahead with a day to go.
Opener Ed Pollock smashed a maiden first-class century to put Worcestershire in complete control of their match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Pollock raced to three figures from 113 deliveries as the visitors reached close on 234 for five, a lead of 369.
Alex Lees scored an unbeaten 163 and was well supported by David Bedingham (74 not out) and Scott Borthwick (64) as Durham established a first-innings lead of 114 on the third day of their match against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
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