CHAMPIONSHIP DIGEST: Catch up with Monday's Championship action

A round-up from the eight County Championship fixtures to get underway on Monday

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Division One

Southampton (third day of four): Hampshire 539 & 171-8, Warwickshire 307 & 31-3

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Kyle Abbott produced a whirlwind evening spell with the new ball to put Hampshire on course to beat Warwickshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Fast bowler Abbott snatched three for 18 in five overs to put his side in the box seat, after Hampshire had set the visitors 404 to win.

The South African accounted for both openers Dominic Sibley and Will Rhodes, along with nightwatchman Olly Stone in a breathless stint - which left Warwickshire on 31 for three at the close.

Earlier, Sam Hain had celebrated his first Specsavers County Championship hundred for three years

Highly rated batsman Hain needed 196 balls to reach the milestone for the first time since July 2016, which also came against Hampshire, before he eventually ended unbeaten on 129.

Chelmsford: (second day of four): Essex 328, Yorkshire 208 & 38-3

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Ryan ten Doeschate gave an inspirational captain’s performance with the bat before Peter Siddle and Simon Harmer struck decisively with the ball in the evening as Essex looked to seal a sixth win in seven Specsavers County Championship matches this season.

Siddle took two wickets in 10 balls at the start of Yorkshire’s second innings, bowling Will Fraine through the gate and having Gary Ballance caught goalkeeper-style by the diving Adam Wheater in front of first slip.

Yorkshire were 14 for two and worse was to follow when Tom Kohler-Cadmore went for a quite horrible hoick against Harmer, missed and was lbw in the spinner’s second over.

At the close, opener Adam Lyth was still there with nine runs from 57 balls, Harry Brook on four, in Yorkshire’s 38 for three, still 82 runs shy of making Essex bat again.

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Dom Bess enjoyed his day, taking five wickets

Taunton: (second day of four): Somerset 326 & 7-1, Notts 241

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Spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach bowled First Division leaders Somerset into a strong position on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Nottinghamshire at Taunton.

The two England bowlers shared eight wickets as the visitors collapsed from 201 for two to 241 for nine in the final session, with Chris Nash unable to continue his innings of 50, having retired hurt after being struck on the head by a Jamie Overton bouncer.

Bess finished with five for 59 and Leach three for 79, their combined efforts giving Somerset a first innings lead of 85. Jake Libby top-scored for Notts with 77, while Ben Duckett contributed an aggressive 38.

By the close, the hosts had made seven for one in their second innings and extended their advantage to 92. The decision to send in nightwatchman Tim Groenewald ahead of Azhar Ali failed when he was caught behind off Ravi Ashwin in the first of five overs.

The Oval: (second day of four): Surrey 271, Kent 285-4

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Kent’s Joe Denly is clearly in the mood to retain his Test place for the Ashes series. He followed his recent century against Notts at Tunbridge Wells with a battling innings of 88 in five hours and 19 minutes against Surrey before he fell to the first delivery with the new ball bowled by Morne Morkel at The Kia Oval.

He and Daniel Bell-Drummond gave Kent the edge with a third wicket partnership of 110 in 34 overs.

Bell-Drummond, on 17, had his helmet broken by a nasty, rearing delivery from Morkel, but went on to make 64. Then Denly and Heino Kuhn, who made an aggressive 50 not out, added a brisk 72. At the close Kent were 285-4, a lead of 14.

Division Two

Grace Road: (second day of four): Leicestershire 212, Durham 117 & 195-1

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Captain Cameron Bancroft led the way with a century as Durham turned their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire on its head at the Fischer County Ground.

Bancroft’s century, his second of the season in the championship, came as part of an impressive opening partnership of 187 with Alex Lees, and came after the visitors had bowled Leicestershire out for 212, conceding a first innings deficit of 95.

Bancroft hit 13 fours in going to his hundred off 134 deliveries before being eventually dismissed by Will Davis, losing his middle stump to a delivery which seamed back and stayed a touch low. Even so, Durham finished the day leading by 96, with nine second innings wickets in hand.

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Merchant Taylors' School: (second day of four): Middlesex 172 & 96-3, Gloucestershire 201

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Toby Roland-Jones claimed career-best bowling figures on day two of Middlesex’s County Championship game with Gloucester at Merchant Taylors’ School.

However, former Seaxe Ryan Higgins produced crucial contributions with bat and ball to leave the visitors still ahead of the game at stumps.

Roland-Jones turned back the clock to claim seven for 52 as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 201, a score bolstered by Higgins’ combative 61 not out.

And the all-rounder, who left the Lord’s tenants at the end of the 2017 season then took three for 16 to reduce the hosts to 96 for three in their second innings, a lead of just 67.

It had been almost three years since Roland-Jones had taken five wickets in an innings – the last occasion being the Seaxes famous last-day of the season championship-clinching win over Yorkshire.

A Test call-up followed those heroics and at the end of the 2017 season, the right-arm seamer was on the verge of an Ashes call-up – a dream ruined when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the back.

A winter’s rehab appeared to have done the trick only for him to break down again in just the second game of the 2018 campaign, so missing the rest of the season.

He returned at the start of this season, but the early signs hadn’t been good – just five wickets at 101-apiece.

However, here Roland-Jones looked a man transformed, building on his two wickets on the first evening with three more in a devastating nine-ball mid-morning burst.

Northampton (second day of four): Northants 442, Lancashire 211-4

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Alex Davies made his first century of the season to provide some much-needed resistance for Lancashire on the second afternoon at Wantage Road. Davies’ 124 not out glued together the visitors’ reply to Northamptonshire's 442 as they closed day two 211 for four.

Davies’ season has been badly interrupted by a finger injury picked up while keeping wicket in the opening match of the season at Middlesex. This is his fifth match of the summer but he immediately looked in good touch and went on to make a fifth first-class hundred.

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Haseeb Hameed was dismissed without scoring

Kidderminster (second day of four): Worcestershire 113, Derbyshire 108 & 272-6

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Century-maker Tom Lace gave another demonstration of his potential as Derbyshire built a position of strength on day two of the Specsavers County Championship with Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

Lace, who is on loan for the season from Middlesex, reached three figures in the final over of the day with a cover drive for four off Daryl Mitchell.

It came up from 266 balls and contained 15 fours as Derbyshire closed on 272 for six - a lead of 267.

The 21-year-old initially spent four games on loan with Derbyshire last season and scored his maiden Championship century – 143 against Glamorgan at Swansea – last month. 

Lace returned to the side after not being able to play against his parent club in Derbyshire’s last Championship match and on today’s evidence looks a fine prospect. 

He initially rebuilt the innings after the loss of two early wickets via a century stand with Wayne Madsen and then found another able partner in Harvey Hosein.

Worcestershire bowled with considerable discipline and Derbyshire were made to work hard for their runs and take few liberties.

But the pitch had flattened out considerably with the moisture disappearing from the surface after 20 wickets had tumbled on the first day in conditions helpful for seam and swing bowling.

Courtesy of the ECB reporters network

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