Last Updated: 16/05/19 8:05pm
Simon Harmer helped spin Essex to their first victory of the season in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship, beating Nottinghamshire by eight wickets at Chelmsford.
The South African off-spinner continued his imperious early-season form, slicing through some fragile Notts batting to finish with 6-60 as the visitors were dismissed for 158 in their second innings.
It was Harmer’s second five-for in a season which has seen him already take 18 wickets in the three matches played.
Set 105 to win, with more than five sessions remaining, Essex ultimately cruised home by eight wickets, despite the setback of losing opener Nick Browne to the third ball of the innings. Alastair Cook finished 40 not out.
Lewis Gregory’s second first-class century gave Somerset the upper hand on the third day of the match with Surrey at Taunton.
The 26-year-old all-rounder scored an unbeaten 129, off 153 balls, as his side were bowled out for 398, from an overnight position of 243-5.
That gave Somerset a first-innings lead of 18 and Gregory (2-46) was soon in the thick of the action again, claiming two wickets as Surrey – without Dean Elgar to illness – struggled to 152-5 at the close, a lead of 134.
First-innings centurion Rory Burns again held Surrey together with 78, but was dismissed by Jack Leach (2-44) shortly before stumps.
Gary Ballance dominated, hitting a season’s best 159, to put Yorkshire in total control of their clash with Kent at Canterbury.
In ideal batting conditions at the Spitfire Ground, the 29-year-old former England international hit 25 boundaries as Yorkshire amassed 469 to set Kent a victory target of 384.
In the day’s 10 remaining overs, the hosts slumped to 34-3, losing Sean Dickson to Duane Olivier only eight balls into their reply.
Ben Coad then claimed two further scalps, including promising opener Zak Crawley for nine.
Warwickshire batsman Dominic Sibley scored a sixth first-class century in as many matches but could not prevent Hampshire taking total control of their match at Edgbaston.
Sibley carried his bat through the Bears’ first innings 233 to finish unbeaten on 109, adding to the three-figure scores he recorded in his previous five first-class games, against Leicestershire, Sussex, Kent, Surrey (for MCC) and Kent again.
Sibley almost single-handedly staved off the follow-on for Warwickshire, but Hampshire will still enter the final day well-placed after batting aggressively to 302-5 declared in their second innings. Rilee Rossouw (76 off 46 balls), Championship debutant Oliver Soames (62) and Sam Northeast (55no) piled on the runs.
Set 424 to win, Warwickshire reached 42-2 before the close, losing openers Sibley and Will Rhodes.
In Division Two, John Simpson’s first County Championship half-century for two years kept Middlesex in contention on a riveting third day against Leicestershire at Lord’s.
Simpson (59no) dragged his side back from the mire at 114-8 in the wake of superb bowling from Chris Wright (3-51) and Tom Taylor (3-74).
Middlesex ultimately finished their second-innings on 223, leaving Leicestershire a target of 305 to win. The visitors survived through to stumps, reaching 38-0, to raise hopes of a first win for the county at Lord’s since 1980.
Richard Gleeson took a second five-for in the match against his former county as Lancashire closed in on a comfortable win over Northamptonshire at Old Trafford.
Gleeson finished with 5-50, to go with his 5-63 in the first innings, as Northamptonshire were dismissed for 200 in their second innings, leaving Lancashire just 15 runs to win on the fourth and final day.
Paceman Josh Tongue’s five-for propelled Worcestershire towards victory in their game against Durham at New Road.
Tongue dismissed Durham captain Cameron Bancroft for the second time in the game and then made further inroads into the middle order as he claimed 5-37 to see Durham dismissed for 197 in their second innings, leaving Worcestershire needing 81 to win on Friday.
Nick Selman and Marnus Labuschagne both posted centuries as Glamorgan looked to rescue their game against Gloucestershire in Newport.
Selman, with a career-best 148 not out, and Labuschagne (128no) shared a second-wicket stand of 226 on day three at Spytty Park as Glamorgan, following on, reached 359-1 by the close of play to give themselves a lead of 146.