Durham boost survival hopes
Durham boosted their LV= County Championship Division One survival hopes by completing an innings win over fellow strugglers Surrey.
The north east side had responded to their visitors' first innings of 129 by making 310, and began day three at Chester-le-Street with a lead of 112 and needing only five wickets to seal the win.
Opener Rory Burns looked like the key man as he resumed on 28, but he added only another 11 before falling to Graham Onions and the lower order were able to offer only limited resistance, Scott Borthwick taking two wickets to wrap up victory by an innings and 38 runs.
Nottinghamshire, looking for their second Championship title in three seasons, were second best against title outsiders Somerset on the third day of the rain-affected match at Taunton.
The visitors were bowled out for 152 with Gemaal Hussain skittling out the lower order with four for 29 from nine overs.
Their threadbare attack was punished by James Hildreth (63 not out) and Jos Buttler (39), who put on 91 for the fourth wicket as the home side ended the day 187 for six, 31 runs ahead of Notts.
Table-topping Warwickshire are on course to make the highest score of the match to beat Worcestershire at Edgbaston.
Openers Varun Chopra (46) and Ian Westwood (32) put on an unbroken 79 as the Division One leaders chased a target of 260 after breaking their neighbours' grip on the second day.
Shunted to the bottom of the table by Durham's victory over Surrey, Worcestershire initially responded by bowling out the home side for a meagre 132, their lowest first innings total in two years.
Having secured a substantial lead of 114, the New Road side had their own troubles after the third-ball dismissal of first-day century-maker Phil Hughes and disappointingly folded for 145 in their second innings.
Only a glimpse of flair from Vikram Solanki (39) and a stubborn knock by young left-hander Matt Pardoe (30) prevented complete disintegration.
Ian Cockbain's second Championship century frustrated Hampshire on the final day of their Division Two game against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
An exciting finish looked in prospect when the hosts began the day on 102 for four, leading by only 97. But, with three of their seam bowlers - Paul Muchall (back), Ian Saxelby (knee) and David Payne (heel) - carrying injuries, Gloucestershire opted for a safety first approach and Cockbain's chanceless 112 enabled them to continue batting until well after tea.
By the time Gloucestershire had been bowled out for 277, a maximum of 18 overs remained to chase a target of 273. Only two had been bowled without a run scored when the teams shook hands at 5pm.
Essex captain James Foster hogged the crease on day two of their Division Two clash with Kent to give his side an invaluable 47-run first innings lead at Canterbury.
In hot and humid conditions, Foster batted for four and three quarter hours for his 76 to rescue his side from the depths of 23 for four to a respectable position of 273 all out, ably supported by Adam Wheater's somewhat speedier knock of 82 from 109 balls.
Charlie Shreck starred with the ball for the home side claiming five for 51 from his 25.4 overs.
Batting again with a first innings deficit of 47, Kent lost their captain Rob Key and nightwatchman Adam Riley was soon skittled by Maurice Chambers and, in the final over of the day, opening bat Sam Northeast was trapped on the back foot by a Harbhajan Singh flipper and went for three.
The hosts went in at nine for three and are now deep in trouble, trailing by 38 runs with only seven wickets in hand going into the third day of four.