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County Championship: Warwickshire beat Essex to continue to set early-season pace

Chris Rushworth takes 4-62 as Warwickshire bowl Essex out for 215 on their way to a four-wicket win; Nottinghamshire clinch innings win over Northamptonshire; James Anderson a no-show for second day in a row for Lancashire against Somerset, failing to bat or bowl on day three

Chris Rushworth
Image: Chris Rushworth claimed 4-62 as Warwickshire beat Essex by four wickets in their County Championship clash

Warwickshire underlined their LV= Insurance County Championship title-chasing credentials by completing a four-wicket win over fellow challengers Essex inside three days at Edgbaston.

Essex were bowled out for 215 in their second innings, as Chris Rushworth - fresh from a 10-for in Warwickshire's last outing - took 4-62 (to go with his four in the first innings), while Hassan Ali also claimed 4-48.

That left the hosts a victory target of 100 and, with batting continuing to prove far from straightforward, the Bears were made to work hard to get there, reaching 100 for the loss of six wickets.

A first defeat of the season comes as a jolt for Essex after an impressive display in their draw against defending champions Surrey last week.

Warwickshire's third win in five games continued a strong start that has far exceeded expectations after they avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last September.

Elsewhere, Dane Paterson claimed 5-16 to propel Nottinghamshire to an innings-and-25-run victory over Northamptonshire on day three at Wantage Road.

South Africa international Paterson's first four scalps came in an opening burst of eight overs, leaving Northants reeling at 11-4. Despite Saif Zaib (26) putting up some resistance, they never recovered and were ultimately bowled out for 72.

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It follows Northamptonshire's first-innings collapse on day two when they lost seven wickets for 17 runs and a similar dispiriting batting display in their last home game against Hampshire which also ended in an innings defeat.

Earlier Joe Clarke (76) scored his second half-century of the season to give Nottinghamshire a healthy 97-run lead which could have been higher but for career-best figures of 4-24 for James Sales and four for Tom Taylor (4-59) too.

James Anderson was a no-show for the second day in a row for Lancashire's clash with Somerset, failing to bat or bowl on day three.

James Anderson, County Championship (Getty Images)
Image: James Anderson has been absent for the past two days for Lancashire due to injury

New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell (105) scored a debut century as Lancashire's first innings ended on 326-9, trailing Somerset by 35, with Anderson not coming out to bat.

Nor did he bowl as Somerset reached 114-3 after 28.2 overs of their second innings, extending their lead to 149, with opener Tom Lammonby unbeaten on 40.

Kent - dismissed for just 95 in their first innings - must battle hard against Hampshire at Canterbury to avoid defeat.

The hosts are on 66 for no loss in their second innings, trailing by 212, with Zak Crawley unbeaten on 35 and Ben Compton 30 not out.

Earlier Liam Dawson hit 84, Joe Weatherly 58 and James Fuller 51 as Hampshire posted 373 in their first innings to take a firm grip on proceedings.

Surrey moved into the driving seat against Middlesex at The Kia Oval as a first-innings lead of 171 gave them hope of securing a third win of the season.

Jamie Smith made 97 and their last three wickets added 97 to swell their first-innings total to 380.

Middlesex, hustled out for 209 the first time around, were 128-3 at the close of play, still 43 runs behind.

In Division Two, Timm van der Gugten cemented his place as the leading bowler in the second tier this season as Glamorgan wrapped up a convincing victory over Worcestershire in Cardiff.

Van der Gugten (5-48) claimed his third five-wicket haul of the campaign to help finish off Worcestershire's second innings inside the first hour of day three, before Glamorgan's openers sealed a 10-wicket win.

Set a target of just 79, Glamorgan were seen home by Eddie Byrom, who struck a rapid 51 not out, and captain David Lloyd, who contributed an unbeaten 30.

That gave Glamorgan their first victory of the season and 20 points to keep them in the hunt for a promotion spot. Worcestershire, meanwhile, have now lost two and drawn two since their opening-round victory against Derbyshire.

Yorkshire and Durham have set up a thrilling final-day finale in Chester-le-Street as, defending a total of 246, Matthew Fisher claimed four wickets to turn the game in the favour of the visitors.

Durham had threatened to inch their way towards victory courtesy of a fifty from Michael Jones. They then collapsed to 173-8 before Ben Raine (32no) and Matthew Potts (13no) formed a defiant partnership of 40.

The home side require a further 33 runs to win with two wickets remaining but the fitness of Brydon Carse, who missed all of day three due to injury, is a huge concern.

Sussex boosted their bid to take over top spot in Division Two by forcing Leicestershire to follow-on at Grace Road.

The home side were dismissed for 270 - with four-wicket hauls for Ari Karvelas (4-79) and Fynn Hudson-Prentice (4-48) - in reply to Sussex's first-innings 430 before they then reached stumps 16 without loss in their second go.

Derbyshire opener Harry Came claimed his maiden first-class century with 108 from 192 balls against Gloucestershire on day three in Derby.

Came's effort took Derbyshire to 251-9 declared in their first innings of the rain-affected contest. Gloucestershire reached 195-5 in reply, with Ben Charlesworth unbeaten on 58.

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