Simon Harmer bowls Essex to thrilling win while Surrey dominate Kent
Simon Harmer scored career-best match figures in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One as Essex beat Hampshire in a nail-biting victory, winning by 12 runs in three days.
The off-spinner took seven for 161 in Essex’s second innings to return 15 for 207 overall as Hampshire fell agonisingly short of their target of 299.
Harmer found the breakthrough taking the wicket of Felix Organ, who was Hampshire’s highest scorer with 65 runs, at 97 for one, but the wickets quickly tumbled despite the efforts of Ian Holland, Ben Brown, Aneurin Donald, Keith Barker and Kyle Abbott.
An innings of 80 from Steven Croft set Lancashire up as they scored 402 all out on day three against Gloucestershire.
Croft was aided by a half-century from Luke Wood and 40 for Tom Bailey but Lancashire were all out with a lead of 65 after Tom Price, David Payne, and captain Ryan Higgins all took three wickets each.
The visitors then took three wickets in the evening session and Gloucestershire will resume day four with a 34-run lead on 99 for three.
Warwickshire’s Dom Sibley made his 17th first-class century as his side trail Northamptonshire by 55 runs.
Wicketkeeper Michael Burgess posted 77 while Nathan McAndrew scored a half-century and will resume day four undefeated on 54 alongside Craig Miles (17no). Seamer Jack White was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts, taking four for 62.
Kent were unable to muster a response to Surrey’s mammoth 673 as they were forced to follow on after being bowled out for 331.
They looked to be going well early on thanks to a recovery effort from Daniel Bell-Drummond which saw him hit 102 and move the score from 55 for two to 216 for three.
However Tom Lawes made the difference taking four wickets on debut as Surrey enforced the follow-on with Kent 342 behind.
Openers Joe Denly and Ben Compton knocked off some of the runs needed and will resume day four on 121 without loss.
In Division Two, a dominant day for leaders Nottinghamshire forced Middlesex to follow on as four wickets for James Pattinson and three from Dane Paterson reduced the visitors to 376 all out.
Wicketkeeper John Simpson came agonisingly close to a century, with Pattinson taking his wicket on 92, and despite further half-centuries from Max Holden (86), Mark Stoneman (67) and Luke Hollman (52) it was not enough for Middlesex who resume day four trailing by 112 runs with 10 wickets left.
A century from Colin Ingram provided the foundation for Glamorgan, who need 100 runs to win on day four against Worcestershire with five wickets standing.
Worcester resumed the morning on 147 for six, but their final four wickets were taken in 13.4 overs to finish 199 all out.
Seamer Ed Barnard had Ingram lbw on 102 after 270 minutes at the crease and Billy Root will be hoping to carry his side over the line tomorrow as he sits undefeated on 46.
Derbyshire will begin day four on 127 for seven after a surprising decision to opt against the follow-on, despite bowling Sussex all out for 337.
Mohammad Rizwan scored his first Championship century for Sussex with 130 but they lost their last five wickets for 38 runs.
Despite a lead of 214, Derbyshire went back in to bat and quickly slumped to 54 for five after relentless bowling from Jack Brooks, who already has five for 46.
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