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Somerset Set The Pace

The fourth round of the Specsavers County Championship saw Somerset maintain their place at the top of the table after they recorded their third win of the season, beating Warwickshire by 49 runs in a low-scoring game at Taunton. The hosts were bowled out for 209 in their first innings, with Oliver Hannon-Dalby taking a career-best five for 18, before Craig Overton hit back with five for 31, leaving the visitors reeling at 135 all out. Batting got no easier in the second innings, and Liam Norwell took full advantage picking up seven for 41 to bowl out Somerset for 164. A target of 239 was always going to be tough when no batsman had yet reached 40 in the match. Samuel Hain played the innings of the match, hitting 92 not out, but there was no real support, and they were all out for 189.

Hampshire are just behind Somerset in the table after their trip to Newport, Isle of Wight, where they overwhelmed Nottinghamshire by 244 runs. The hosts batted first and compiled 310, before Steven Mullaney’s captain’s knock of 102 kept the visitors in the fixture as they were dismissed for 239. A third-wicket partnership of 257 between Ajinkya Rahane (119 on his debut for the county) and skipper Sam Northeast (133) put the home side in complete control, and they eventually declared on 367 for five, setting a target of 439. Nottinghamshire got nowhere near it and were all out for 194.

At Beckenham, champions Surrey ended up with their third successive draw of the summer, and already have a lot of catching up to do if they are to hold on to their title. Will Jacks hit a maiden century (120) to help his side up to 439, while Wiaan Mulder picked up four wickets for 118. Sean Dickson led Kent’s reply, taking five-and-a-half hours for his 128 as they replied with 294. Surrey got 280 in their second innings, leaving Kent to chase 426. Despite having 113 overs to bowl them out, Surrey found the home side provided stubborn resistance, and they ended up on 352 for eight.

In the Second Division, the top two sides met at Old Trafford, and it was the hosts who beat Worcestershire by six wickets in another low-scoring game. The away side were in instant trouble against Jimmy Anderson (five for 25) and Graham Onions (three for 52), who reduced them to 38 for seven, and it was a vital 63 from Wayne Parnell that saw them up to 172. Liam Livingstone’s 69 helped Lancashire to 201 all out, a narrow lead of 29. Parnell’s fine match continued, as he took five for 47. Richard Gleeson reinforced his fine recent form in the second innings, taking five for 37, and the visitors crumbled to 154 all out, leaving a target of just 126. At 32 for four, the game appeared in the balance, but a patient 31 not out in 101 balls from Robert Jones combined with a more positive 60 not out from Dane Vilas saw them home.

The game at Derby started a day earlier, and visitors Glamorgan finally emerged victorious by two wickets in a compelling tussle. Luis Reece hit 111 for the hosts as they reached 378 in their first innings, while Lukas Carey took a career-best four for 61. Ravi Rampaul went one better, picking up five for 94 as Glamorgan replied with 346. A lead of 32 soon seemed too small when Derbyshire were bowled out for 213, as Daniel Douthwaite took four for 48 on his first-class debut for Glamorgan. Chasing 246, Glamorgan looked to be struggling at 162 for seven, but Tom Cullen made a maiden half-century, scoring 51 not out, to see his side home.

At Chester-le-Street, Durham’s woes continued as they lost by six wickets to Gloucestershire to leave themselves stranded at the bottom of the table. At 31 for five, Durham were in trouble from the start, so 158 all out was something of a recovery. The visitors didn’t do much better, and replied with 174, before Durham’s batting line-up failed again, reaching just 132 in their second innings to set a target of 117.

There were 1417 runs scored at Northampton, as Sussex came to battle it out in a high-scoring draw. At 68 for six in their first innings, that looked an unlikely outcome before Ben Brown (156) and Chris Jordan (a career-best 166) put on 309 for the seventh wicket and helped the visitors up to 422 all out. Northants replied with 368 before Phil Salt hit 122 on 104 balls to push his side on to 339 for four declared. Mir Hamza took four for 51 as Northamptonshire reached 288 for six in their attempt to chase down 394 for victory.