Division One: Chris Wright inspires Warwickshire; Middlesex eye famous win
By Joe Drabble - @SkySportsDrabs
Last Updated: 29/04/14 7:42pm
Warwickshire wrapped up their first victory of the LV= County Championship Division One campaign with over five sessions to spare after dismissing Nottinghamshire for 201 at Trent Bridge.
Chasing 300 for victory, Notts would have fancied their chances when starting day three on 126-3, however the loss of three key wickets in the space of five deliveries sparked a 98-run reverse.
The only good news for the hosts was that they were not punished for the state of the pitch. A pitch-panel discussion was convened to judge the suitability of the surface and whilst it was ruled to be below average, it was not bad enough to see Notts given a points penalty.
Nightwatchman Luke Fletcher was the first wicket to fall just three balls into the penultimate day as Chris Wright (4-70) picked up the first of three morning scalps.
James Taylor (19) and Riki Wessels (0) then succumbed to Wright in the same over and when Samit Patel (9) edged Keith Barker to Will Porterfield, Notts were staring down the barrel of defeat on 157-7.
Peter Siddle threw the bat to post 28 not out, however Chris Woakes put Warwickshire on the brink with the wickets of Chris Read (11) and Andy Carter and Oliver Hannon-Dalby removed last man Harry Gurney to secure the win before lunch.
The Bears return to Birmingham with 21 points following a defeat to Sussex and a draw at Lancashire earlier this season, while Notts picked up just three bonus points from a disappointing home outing.
A thrilling final day is in store at Lord's where Middlesex made a promising start in pursuit of the 472-run victory target set by Yorkshire on day three.
The chase is on
Chris Rogers reached stumps unbeaten on 122 and opening partner Sam Robson posted 77 as the home side soared to 230-1, leaving themselves requiring another 242 runs to pull off a remarkable win.
Yorkshire had earlier batted themselves into a position of dominance by posting 416 all out in their second knock.
Gary Ballance did his England prospects no harm at all with 130 from number five, ably supported by Adil Rashid, who made 43 and wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd, who added 22.
Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory was the star of the show on day three at Hove, where league leaders Sussex are on the verge of losing their 100 per cent start to the season.
Seam bowler Gregory (5-49) claimed the second first-class five-for of his career to skittle Sussex for 142 and hand Somerset a first-innings lead of 230, prompting captain Marcus Trescothick to enforce the follow-on.
Gregory then struck twice more as Sussex closed on 156-6 in their second knock, still 74 runs adrift of an innings defeat.
After starting the season with wins over Middlesex and Warwickshire, Sussex will be relying heavily on opener Ed Joyce (75no) to steer them away from trouble on the final day.
A tense finish is also on the cards at Wantage Road, where Northamptonshire reached stumps on 145-5 chasing 240 for victory against Lancashire.
Northants reignited hopes of victory by reducing Lancashire from 244-4 to 284 all out in the morning - Jos Buttler falling for 72 and Tom Smith making 59 as England under 19 pace bowler Olly Stone (4-65) claimed career-best figures.
James Anderson then swung the match in Lancashire's favour with three wickets, however James Middlebrook (78no) and Ben Duckett (24no) formed a useful alliance through to the close.