Essex reached the summit of Division One after a 187 run victory over Warwickshire at Chelmsford.
Simon Harmer’s 6/75 in the second innings secured the points for Essex and took his tally to 65 wickets for the season so far. Alistair Cook and Dan Lawrence scored a half century in both innings to set the hosts up for victory and Harmer spun them there on Day Four leaving Warwickshire second bottom of the table.
Somerset we’re knocked off top spot after they suffered a heavy defeat by an innings and 73 runs against third place Yorkshire. Being without Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach on England Lions duty was clearly a fatal blow as Somerset search for their maiden championship title as they crumbled to a rare defeat. A hat-trick of centuries from Gary Ballance (111), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (102) and Harry Brook (101) saw Yorkshire post 520, with the visitors only able to make 196 and 251 in response as the Northern outfit ran out comfortable winners. South African spinner Keshav Maharaj took 10 wickets in the match including figures of 7/52 in the first innings.
Off-spinner Amar Virdi heaped more misery on Nottinghamshire as he claimed a stunning 14 wickets in the match as Surrey ran out convincing winners at Trent Bridge.
In a low scoring affair, Surrey posted 240 and 224 for 9 declared with Notts being skittled for 116 and 181 as they remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Ravi Ashwin was their only shining light as he grabbed a 6-for in both innings to end with figures of 12/144.
Fourth place Hampshire and fifth place Kent couldn’t be separated at the Rose Bowl in a high scoring encounter.
Hampshire declared on 409 for 9 with 20-year-old Felix Organ scoring his maiden first class ton in only his third match. Kent replied with 555 as Ashes hopeful Joe Denly smashed 154 which has earned him a call up for England’s Test match against Ireland. Second time round Hants posted 298 before Kent closed on 57 for 3.
Lancs go clear at top of Div Two
Lancashire extended their lead at the top of Division Two after defeating a Sussex side struggling for form. The Sharks were all out for 127 on Day One as spinners Glenn Maxwell and Matt Parkinson shared 10 wickets between them with the latter grabbing a career best 6/23. In response, Lancs asserted their dominance by declaring on 494 for 6. Dane Vilas led the way with an unbeaten 132 as four other Lancs top order batsmen passed 50.
Sussex were then all out for 316 with Parkinson completing his 10 wicket haul for the match by claiming a further four victims in the second innings. Stylish batsman Delray Rawlins scores his maiden first class century to show some hope for a side that are now winless in five matches, losing three on the bounce.
Middlesex made it back to back victories after an impressive triumph over high flying Glamorgan. Skipper Dawid Malan scored 166 as the London side posted 384 with the Welshmen making only 171 in reply with Tom Helm taking five wickets before Middlesex put the game beyond doubt by scoring 342 second time round with Sam Robson carrying his bat for 140. Glamorgan were then dismissed for 299 and Toby Roland-Jones was the pick of the bowlers with 5/68.
Six unbeaten for Franklin's Durham
Durham stretched their unbeaten run to six matches as they rose to fourth in the table courtesy of Chris Rushworth’s 10 match wickets to defeat Worcestershire.
Batting first, the men from the North made 212 with Ben Raine top scoring with 78* and Ned Eckersley continued his rich vein of form with a valuable half century before the visitors were dismissed for 151.
Durham then declared on 290 for 8 with Jack Burnham adding 76 with Eckersley (33) adding more important runs. Rushworth then took 6/39 to wrap up victory by sending Charlie Morris’ middle stump cartwheeling.
Temba Bavuma’s 134 set Northants up for victory as they climbed up to third in the table with a 72 run triumph over Derbyshire. Luke Proctor grabbed 4/26 to claim his 100th first class wicket to seal the win for Adam Rossington’s men.
One match is still ongoing, with Gloucestershire aiming to wrap up victory over Leicestershire on Thursday. Gloucester need 8 wickets on the final day and can still bat again if Leicestershire overturn the current 172 run deficit.