Durham close on top spot
A review of Wednesday's action in the LV= County Championship as Durham close in on top spot in Division One.
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Durham look on course to move to the top of the LV= County Championship Division One table after finishing day two of their clash with Sussex at Chester-le-Street with a lead of 345 having dismissed their opponents for a paltry 112.
The encounter - the home side's game in hand over leaders Yorkshire, which they went into in second place, 5.5 points off the summit - was proving productive in general for bowlers, with Durham posting a first-innings total of just 245 on day one.
Graham Onions (four for 50), Usman Arshad (three for 16) and Mitchell Claydon (three for 25) then rapidly saw off third-placed Sussex, who started day two on 60 for three, before Durham found themselves at 90 for five in their second innings.
Phil Mustard (57 not out) and Paul Collingwood (45) helped ensure they had a healthy advantage by stumps, when they were at 212 for six.
At the other end of the table, third-bottom Somerset closed 36 runs ahead of basement boys Derbyshire at Taunton.
The visitors established a first-innings lead of 195, moving from 220 for five overnight to 298 before being halted, with Richard Johnson having top-scored on 68.
Somerset's second innings, a vast improvement on their initial batting effort of 103, saw them reach 231 for four at close, with James Hildreth having been ousted on 81 and Nick Compton unbeaten on 64.
Ollie Rayner's career-best of eight for 46 accelerated Middlesex towards a victory over second-bottom Surrey at the Kia Oval.
The hosts fell to 145 all out in their first innings as off spinner Rayner sliced through them in a remarkable afternoon session which they began looking reasonably secure at 59 for one in reply to Middlesex's first innings of 294.
By the close Surrey were 282 runs adrift as Middlesex reached 133 for five in their second innings, with Dawid Malan finishing unbeaten on 28 and not even Gary Keedy's five for 42 enough to bring Surrey back into the game.
Meanwhile, Samit Patel's 117 revived Nottinghamshire's fortunes as they reached 359 all out to establish a first-innings lead of 61 at Trent Bridge against champions Warwickshire, who closed on 27 for two.
The home side had been on 14 for three at the start of day two in response to 298.
In Division Two, Hampshire were making a determined reply at the Ageas Bowl after Rob Keogh's 221 had helped Northamptonshire to an impressive first innings total of 438.
Hampshire closed on 160 for two, with their skipper Jimmy Adams unbeaten on 71.
Worcestershire produced a spirited fightback but were still left with a huge task to avoid defeat at Essex, who had bowled them out for 102 on day one and then posted a first-innings total of 351 to give them a lead of 249.
The visitors reached the close on day two on 163 for three in their second innings.
Glamorgan claimed a 220-run lead in their contest against Kent at Cardiff.
The first innings was brought to a conclusion on day two with Kent on 175 - Michael Hogan having recorded figures of six for 65 - in reply to 158 from Glamorgan, who were on 237 for seven in their second innings at stumps.
In the day's other contest Gloucestershire were firmly in control at Bristol having declared on 516 for nine - in which Will Gidman made 143 - to assume a first-innings lead of 399 over bottom side Leicestershire before the visitors finished the day on 60 for one.