Chelmsford: Lancashire 131 and 73 BEAT Essex 107 and 59 by 38 runs
Bristol: Gloucestershire 255 v Warwickshire 274 and 58-5
The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 57 and 105-4 v Kent 165 and 269. Hampshire need 273 to win
Taunton: Somerset 389 v Northants 184-6
The Oval: Surrey 333 v Yorkshire 179 and 89-2
The Riverside: Durham 459-7dec v Sussex 162 and 6-3
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 550-5 v Derbyshire 135-5
Grace Road: Leicestershire 273-9 v Middlesex 297
New Road: Worcestershire 390 v Nottinghamshire 128 and 129-6
A hat-trick from George Balderson snatched Lancashire victory and 19 points from a match played at triple-speed and with the foot down, door slammed shut and locked in just over four sessions at Chelmsford. Lancashire, who had started the day at 25 for six, slippered their way to 73, setting Essex a seemingly gettable 98 in as much time as they had to spare. But Essex slipped from 24 without loss to 59 all out, losing 10 wickets for 35 runs, as Balderson’s five for 14 and Will Williams’ four for 24 dislodged bails here and provided catching practice there. Shane Snater, who finished on the losing-side despite taking six for 10 in Lancashire’s second innings, had the consolation of a county cap. Essex were left to lick their wounds and give the pitch a long hard stare.
Surrey sleep with the Championship Trophy in touching distance after making Yorkshire follow-on at the Oval. Only Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Jonathan Tattersall could do much about Surrey’s imposing seam attack, consisting – for the first time this season – of Daniel Worrall, Tom Lawes, Jamie Overton and Kemar Roach. Following on, Finlay Bean got a snorter, and George Hill was done by some extra bounce from Overton just before stumps, leaving Yorkshire in a large hole.
If Surrey win, Hampshire would have to beat Kent to take the title race into the final round – but that looks unlikely after another chaotic day at the Rose Bowl. Jack Leaning kept Kent in the match with his second hundred of the season as the pitch flattened out. As dusk began to fall, Felix Organ, nightwatchman Keith Barker and Nick Gubbins joined Ian Holland back in the pavilion, leaving Joe Weatherley, unbeaten on 54, looking, weeping, at a mountainous 273 more runs for victory.
Gloucestershire’s Tom Price sliced through Warwickshire’s top-order as they were reduced to 58 for five in the battle of the Division One stragglers at New Road, while Craig Overton’s four for 25 left Northamptonshire in tatters at Taunton.
In Division Two, Glamorgan captain David Lloyd reached 313, the highest first-class score ever by a Welshman, and Nottinghamshire found themselves in the unfamiliar position of following on against Worcestershire.
Good sunny morning! This is Surrey’s day, Surrey’s Championship – unless. Unless Yorkshire can rally and Tom Kohler-Cadmore prove to Somerset just what a prize they have won. Unless , down at The Rose Bowl, James Vince can play the innings of his life and carry Hampshire to the unlikely 273 more they need to beat Kent – as he so nearly did against Lancashire in the penultimate game of last year.
Pull up your chair and join us, it’s going be fun.