Yorkshire boost title hopes
A review of Thursday's action in the LV= County Championship as Yorkshire strengthened their title hand.
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Yorkshire boosted their hopes of winning the LV= County Championship after enjoying a superb day with bat and ball against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
After Jonny Bairstow (62) and Steven Patterson (40) added 91 for the ninth wicket to help Yorkshire total 407 early on, the visitors then skittled Nottinghamshire for 150 in their first innings before then reducing their hosts to 118 for four after enforcing the follow on.
Patterson (five for 43) and Ryan Sidebottom (four for 35) did the damage first up as Nottinghamshire were bowled out inside 36 overs - a total that would have been even worse but for some late-order fireworks from Ajmal Shahzad (41 not out) and Andre Adams (39).
Nottinghamshire then found life similarly tough in their second innings as they closed day two still trailing by 139 runs.
With second-placed Sussex not in action, third-placed Middlesex have the chance to put some daylight between themselves and their title challengers in the pursuit of Yorkshire but they were finding things far from easy against Derbyshire at Derby.
Middlesex conceded a first-innings deficit of 136 after being bowled out for 249 in the morning session on day three but then hit back with the ball as they dismissed Derbyshire for 160 in their second knock, Ollie Rayner taking five for 67.
That left Middlesex a victory target of 297 but they found themselves in some trouble on 25 for two at the close, although nightwatchman Steven Finn - available for his county after being released from England duty - was one of the men out.
Another fast bowler deemed surplus to requirements by England this week, Chris Tremlett, enjoyed an excellent day at Chester-le-Street but despite his efforts Durham held the upper hand after day one against Surrey.
Tremlett took all five Durham wickets to fall, including that of Scott Borthwick for a career-best 135 and Will Smith for 87, but the home side still closed on a healthy 309 for five.
Also in Division One, Nick Compton celebrated his new three-year contract with Somerset by scoring an unbeaten 83 as the relegation-battlers closed on 133 for two in their second innings against Warwickshire - and a lead of 66 heading into the final day.
Earlier, Somerset's left-arm spinner George Dockrell took six for 96 as the reigning champions were dismissed for 407, the bulk of their runs coming from second-day centurions Ateeq Javid (133) and Laurie Evans (138).
In Division Two, leaders Lancashire were frustrated by a fine century from Worcestershire's Moeen Ali at New Road.
The in-form left-hander hit 104 to help lift his side to 287 all out following a spirited fightback by the league leaders, who took six wickets for 37 runs at one stage as the home side lost their way from 215 for three.
Lancashire's opening pair of Glen Chapple and Luis Reece then safely negotiated a maiden over from Alan Richardson before proceedings were brought to a close.
Second-placed Northamptonshire were frustrated by the weather as they sought to hammer home their advantage against Essex at Colchester.
No play was possible on day three due to rain, with Essex remaining on 187 for five in their reply to Northamptonshire's 531.
There was no action before lunch at Canterbury due to rain, but when Kent and Gloucestershire returned it was the batsmen who flourished.
Darren Stevens (126), James Tredwell (48) and Calum Haggett (44 not out) were all among the runs as Kent ran up 474 before Gloucestershire's openers Michael Klinger (31no) and Chris Dent (44no) put on 80 without loss in reply.
At Swansea, a superb 178 from veteran batsman Murray Goodwin helped Glamorgan to 445 for seven and a first-innings lead of 242 over Leicestershire at the end of day two.