Title beckons for rampant Bears
A review of Wednesday's action in the LV= County Championship.
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Warwickshire were within sight of the LV= County Championship title after piling on the runs against seemingly relegation-bound local rivals Worcestershire on Wednesday.
Having bowled out Division One's bottom club for just 60 on Tuesday, the Bears declared at 471 for eight as opener Varun Chopra made a mammoth 195 and Ian Blackwell (84) and Keith Barker (40) put on 80 at better than a run a ball.
Worcestershire were 100 for two by the close, with captain Daryl Mitchell unbeaten on 42, but they remained a daunting 311 runs in arrears.
Warwickshire's nearest challengers Sussex were well on top against Somerset, but their failure to amass more than a single batting point will leave them too far adrift should their rivals complete victory.
Steve Magoffin, Lewis Hatchett and Monty Panesar took three wickets each as Somerset were skittled for 134, a first-innings deficit of 87, before Sussex reached 186 for two in their second innings. Chris Nash was 106 not out, with Murray Goodwin on 51 in his final innings at Hove.
Worcestershire's fellow strugglers Lancashire were responding well to Middlesex's score of 446 but will still have their work cut out to force the victory they probably require at Lord's.
The reigning champions began the match 17 points adrift of seventh-placed Surrey and though Neil Dexter added just two to his overnight 123 and Lancashire collected their full three bowling points, Steven Crook hit 66 and Ravi Patel 20 to lift the hosts to 446.
The Red Rose reply reached 236 for three, with half-centuries for Tom Smith, Paul Horton and Ashwell Prince, with the South African set to resume on 57.
But to add to Lancashire's difficulties, Surrey dismissed Nottinghamshire for 227 at the Oval to take a first-innings lead of 42.
Stuart Meaker (29no) and Tim Linley (14) put on 38 for the last wicket to earn the hosts their second batting point and the latter then took five for 62 as Notts subsided, with only wicketkeeper-captain Chris Read (85no) and Sam Wood (45) offering much resistance, including a stand of 92.
Division Two leaders Derbyshire were dismissed for 200 against third-placed Kent to trail by 61 on first innings.
Wayne Madsen made 64 and Tom Poynton added 45 from number eight but Mark Davies took five for 27 to give the hosts the advantage.
By the close, Kent had added 59 to their lead for the loss of three wickets to spinners Wes Durston (two for seven) and David Wainwright (one for one).
Adam Lyth made 95 as second-placed Yorkshire took a first-innings lead against lowly Glamorgan at Headingley.
A ninth-wicket stand of 54 between Ryan Sidebottom (35) and Steven Patterson (22) also helped the Tykes to 344 in reply to the Welsh side's 272 despite Jim Allenby taking four for 61.
Patterson then took two quick wickets as Glamorgan closed on 27 for two, 45 behind.
Hampshire, in fourth, held a first-innings lead against Essex but then saw the visitors reach 217 for two in their second innings, 168 ahead.
Bilal Shafayat could not add to his overnight 42 and though Sean Ervine made 43 to ensure a lead of 49, Owais Shah (124no) and Jaik Mickleburgh (73) put Essex on top by the day's end.
Bottom-of-the-table Gloucestershire were on course for only their third win of the season as they routed Northamptonshire for 100 and then reached 286 for six, 406 ahead.
James Fuller took five for 29 before Ian Cockbain made 99, with Will Gidman unbeaten on 52 at stumps.