• County round-up

Bopara & Panesar shine in county action

June 9, 2012
Ravi Bopara hit his second century of the week © Getty Images

Sussex secured their second County Championship Division One win of the season after an inspired performance by their bowlers on the final day against Surrey at Horsham.

Monty Panesar led the way with three wickets as Surrey were finally dismissed for 248 with six overs remaining and Sussex knocked off their victory target of 22 from just 11 balls to complete a 10-wicket triumph.

It was no more than Sussex deserved after dominating much of the match, although there was widespread relief when James Anyon took the final wicket just when it looked as if skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown and the Surrey tail might save the game. Hamilton-Brown defied the pain of a sore hamstring to bat for over three hours before Anyon plucked out his off stump for 47 - the highest score by a Surrey batsman in either innings.

Nottinghamshire missed out on their fifth win of the season but still returned to the top of Division One after drawing with title-holders Lancashire. After the two sides had agreed to forfeit an innings to open up the possibility of victory, Lancashire declared their first innings closed on 350 for nine, with Kyle Hogg unbeaten on 61.

That left the hosts to chase 351 from 90 overs and after recovering from the loss of two early wickets with half-centuries from James Taylor (67) and Adam Voges (55), a home win looked a possibility. But the loss of Taylor and Andre Adams in successive balls from Ajmal Shahzad left the tail exposed and Notts captain Chris Read (56 not out) decided to bat out for the draw, with the hosts finishing on 293 for seven.

In Division Two, Kent made a hash of their second successive County Championship run-chase and could only draw with promotion rivals Hampshire after falling 84 runs short on the final day in Tunbridge Wells.

For their part, Hampshire declared half an hour before lunch on 303 for eight - immediately after posting their third batting bonus point - and challenged Kent to an afternoon pursuit at the rate of 4.34 an over. The hosts set off in sprightly fashion through Rob Key and Sam Northeast, who added 37 through to the interval only to slightly lose their way after it.

Ravi Bopara gave the England selectors another huge nudge with his second century of the week as Essex drew their rain-affected match at Northamptonshire.

Essex declared on 400 for six to claim maximum batting points, with Bopara scoring a magnificent 174 off 290 balls and his captain and wicketkeeper James Foster making 135 off 230 deliveries.

Northants then closed on 200 for three as James Middlebrook clobbered a century against his old club with 100 off 141 balls.

Glamorgan's clash with Yorkshire at Colwyn Bay was abandoned as a draw with no play possible on any of the final three days. Yorkshire take four points from the contest to three for Glamorgan, who remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

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