• County round-up

Durham boost survival hopes

August 18, 2012
Alex Hales' ton proved in vain for Nottinghamshire © Getty Images

Durham and Surrey boosted their LV= County Championship Division One survival bids with victories on Sunday as reigning champions Lancashire's plight worsened.

Mark Wood's five for 78 edged Durham closer to safety after they wrapped up their third victory in a row with just eight balls to spare, condemning title-chasing Nottinghamshire to a first four-day defeat of the season.

Alex Hales compiled a first century of the summer with 101 and Riki Wessels made 98 in an opening partnership of 168 in 42.1 overs as the hosts looked to be well on their way towards a target of 366 from 90 overs. But it was seamer Wood who played the decisive hand, removing Hales and polishing off the tail to complete a tense 16-run success.

Spinners Gareth Batty and Murali Kartik bowled Surrey to only their second LV= County Championship victory of the season but it was a nail-biting affair against Middlesex. The visitors fought hard to reach 245 in their second innings before going down by just eight runs at the Oval.

Batty took six for 83 - including the last wicket of Toby Roland-Jones for 17 after he and Tim Murtagh (25 not out) had added 48 amid great tension - and Kartik three for 91 in a marathon four-and-a-half-hour spell from the Vauxhall End. Surrey finally wrapped things up just after 4pm on the final day, after a thrilling afternoon's cricket, to take 19 points and boost their chances of avoiding relegation from Division One.

The spectre of relegation loomed ever larger for Lancashire when Worcestershire restricted them to only one batting point from their crucial clash at New Road. Worcestershire, still with a game in hand, closed the gap at the bottom of the table after dismissing last year's champions for 216 in a draw that came down to a scrap for bonus points.

In Division Two, captain Jimmy Adams led the way to help Hampshire chase down a victory target of 326 with almost two overs to spare as Northamptonshire crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at Southampton. Adams made 149 before departing with only 49 required as Hampshire eased to their fourth win of the season to maintain their strengthening promotion challenge. The opener hit 23 fours and two sixes from 216 balls and after his departure, Simon Katich's unbeaten 61 made sure of Hampshire's victory.

Yorkshire had to settle for a draw at Headingley after a pulsating first half-hour's play had seen table-topping Derbyshire follow-on 152 runs adrift on the final day of their tussle. Derbyshire then lost two quick wickets to Tim Bresnan to put Yorkshire on course for victory but Usman Khawaja led a spirited fightback in the last two sessions with a sparkling unbeaten 110 and the visitors reached 190 for five, 38 ahead, to bring about the stalemate.

Jim Allenby's first hundred of the season and a fighting half-century from Ben Wright ensured that Glamorgan came away with a draw from their battle with Essex at Colchester.

Gloucestershire's weather-affected game against Kent at Bristol petered out into a draw, despite finishing in blazing sunshine. The visitors finished the fourth day on 300 for 9 declared before the hosts opted to declare their own first innings with just one run on the board. It was an unsatisfactory conclusion for both sides, who finished with six points each.

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