• County Championship round-up

Clarke cashes in to put Lancs on the ropes

May 17, 2012
Rikki Clarke put Lancashire to the sword © Getty Images

Rikki Clarke again showed his liking for Lancashire's bowling with a second century of the season as the defending Division One champions wilted under pressure from Warwickshire on the second day at Edgbaston.

Clarke followed up his 140 in last month's win at Liverpool with an unbeaten 123 which took Warwickshire to 557 for six declared, beating their previous highest total against Lancashire of 532 for four made at Edgbaston in 1901.

Lancashire, who needed 408 to avoid the follow-on, buckled under scoreboard pressure and collapsed to 61 for five against accurate seam bowling.

Somerset continued to dictate terms on day two of their clash with Surrey at The Oval. The hosts closed on 286 for six in response to Somerset's foreboding 512 for nine declared.

Surrey, who need another 77 to avoid the prospect of following on, were indebted to a third-wicket partnership of 122 in 29 overs between centurion Steven Davies (104) and Zander de Bruyn (52) for their slender grasp on the game.

Hampshire had the better of Yorkshire on day two of their clash at Headingley. Rain kept the sides off until 2.30pm BST but there was still plenty of time for Hampshire to reach 427 all out and reduce Yorkshire to 100 for three.

Yorkshire initially struggled to 32 for three but were then lifted by left-handers, Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance, who both notched centuries in the victory over Gloucestershire last week. Jaques had moved to 59 by the close, with Ballance on 26, leaving Yorkshire on 100 for three and still requiring a further 178 to avoid the possibility of the follow on.

Moeen Ali battled to keep Worcestershire afloat in a hard-fought second day in their fixture with Sussex at New Road. The England Lions left-hander made 85 from 179 balls as the home side reached 231 for seven - still trailing by 84 - after their former seamer Steve Magoffin had shone with bat and ball for Sussex.

The 32-year-old Australian smashed an unbeaten 41 to secure a third bonus point while leading Sussex to 315 and then removed compatriot Michael Klinger in a faltering start by Worcestershire.

In Division Two, Kent made a faltering reply to Northamptonshire's first innings on the second day of their clash at Canterbury. The hosts went in at stumps on 123 for three after Northamptonshire's had extended their overnight score of 244 for four to 418 all out.

Having taken just over nine hours to dismiss the visitors on what appeared a placid pitch, Kent's top order all experienced some difficulty contending with fading light and variable bounce.

Late wickets by Nathan Buck and Matthew Hoggard put Leicestershire in the driving seat at the end of the second day of their battle with Essex at Grace Road.

Buck had Adam Wheater caught behind and Hoggard trapped Tom Westley lbw for 81 with the last ball of the day, to leave Essex on 239 for five - still 133 behind the home side's first innings total of 372. Westley and Mark Pettini (57) looked to have given Essex the edge with a third-wicket stand of 133 until the two late dismissals turned things in Leicestershire's favour again.

Martin Guptill took full advantage of Glamorgan's generosity to score his second century of the season and put Derbyshire in a strong position on the second day of the match at Derby.

The New Zealand Test opener was dropped three times on his way to 132 and added 170 with skipper Wayne Madsen, who was unbeaten on 122 as the home side closed at 335 for five, a lead of 99.

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