Warwickshire stay in title hunt with victory over Yorkshire
Warwickshire maintained their hopes of winning the LV= Insurance County Championship title, ending Yorkshire’s in the process, with a final-day victory at Emerald Headingley.
The Bears defended a 224 target to win by 106 runs and move second in the Division One table ahead of next week’s blockbuster final round, 3.5 points behind leaders Hampshire.
Heading into that final round, in the race for the Championship title and qualification for the Bob Willis Trophy final, the top four teams in Division One are separated by just 6.5 points.
After a third day washout due to rain, Yorkshire resumed day four on 50 for three and were bowled out for 117 inside 75 minutes of play.
Chris Woakes claimed three for 26, while Tim Bresnan also finished with six catches in the innings at first slip. He is only the third Bear to achieve that feat in first-class cricket alongside Rikki Clarke with seven and MJK Smith with six.
Hampshire lead with the table with 58.5 points and are trailed by Warwickshire on 55, Lancashire on 54.5, Nottinghamshire on 52, Yorkshire on 41.5 and Somerset on 26.5.
It took Gloucestershire a mere 78 minutes to polish off Glamorgan on the final day of their Division Two match.
The 10-wicket victory at Sophia Gardens earned them 22 points to move into second place in the table.
Ethan Bamber’s four wickets led the charge as Middlesex beat Worcestershire by 101 runs in Division Three to record four consecutive wins in a County Championship season for the first time in 26 years.
The young seamer passed 50 first-class wickets for the season in returning four for 28 as the Pears fell well short in their quest for 221 despite a battling 42 not out from Gareth Roderick.
Martin Andersson was also among the wickets for the home side with three for 22, all this after Middlesex were bowled out for 247 in their second innings early on the final day, with Charlie Morris taking six for 52.
Kent completed a hat-trick of Championship victories as they beat Derbyshire by 130 runs at Derby to sit just two points behind Middlesex.
After Kent declared on 211 for two, setting Derbyshire an unlikely 341 for victory, the home side were bowled out for 210.
Nathan Gilchrist took four for 30 after Grant Stewart claimed the first two wickets to prompt a Derbyshire collapse.
Only an eighth wicket stand of 70 between Anuj Dal – who finished 58 not out – and Ben Aitchison got Derbyshire anywhere near the target.
Hashim Amla led Surrey’s rearguard action with huge skill and commitment as Essex were forced to accept a final-day draw in their Division Two match at the Kia Oval.
In truth, it was the loss of the whole of day three to bad weather which really cost Essex the chance of adding a third successive victory to wins against Glamorgan and Gloucestershire in the past fortnight.
But Amla’s impressive batsmanship, which saw him make 34 not out in a second innings total of 113 for two after scoring 84 first time around, was the main reason they were unable to bowl Surrey out twice after the home side resumed on 107 for seven and initially reached 161 in reply to Essex’s first innings 439.
Both before and after Surrey followed on, it was 38-year-old Amla who presented the broadest of bats to Essex’s classy bowling attack before hands were shaken at 4.34pm, with 17 overs unbowled. Essex took 12 points and Surrey six.
James Sales’ maiden first-class fifty helped Northamptonshire salvage a draw with Durham in Division Two at Wantage Road.
All-rounder Sales, the 18-year-old son of former Northamptonshire batter David, struck a sublime 53 off 120 deliveries on his second red-ball appearance to lead a gritty final-day rearguard.
Luke Procter scored 44, while unbeaten Simon Kerrigan ate up a heroic 135 balls as they edged into a lead with 10 overs to spare, to make sure their side avoided defeat.
Matty Potts took four for 48 for Durham to return career-best match figures of eight for 90, but neither he nor his attack partners could find a complete set as Northamptonshire reached 230 for nine at the close.
Leicestershire pulled off an extraordinary innings-and-five-run victory over Sussex in a Division Three match that had looked destined to end in a tame draw at Grace Road.
After Hassan Azad (152) and Lewis Hill (145) had turned their hundreds into career-best scores and there was a maiden half-century for Louis Kimber, a declaration at 492 for four gave Leicestershire a lead of 133 on first innings.
But their with leading wicket-taker Chris Wright absent through injury, bowling Sussex out in the 48 overs that remained looked a long shot, even with Fynn Hudson-Prentice unable to bat after breaking a hand in the first innings.
Yet after reaching 117 for three – just 16 runs away from wiping out their arrears and making the hosts bat again – an inexperienced Sussex side containing five teenagers lost their last six wickets for 11 runs to be defeated with 16 balls left.
Callum Parkinson took four for 18 with his left-arm spin and seamer Ben Mike claimed four for 34.