Championship Digest: Saturday, May 1, 2021

Find out what happened across the County Championship on the third day of the fourth round of the 2021 competition

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Group 1 

Worcestershire v Essex

New Road (third day of four): Essex 561-8d, Worcestershire 302-5 - Worcestershire trail by 259 runs with 5 first-innings wickets remaining

Scorecard

Essex worked their way through some dogged Worcestershire batting to continue their push for victory on the third day at New Road. 

In reply to the champions' 561 for 8 declared, the home side closed the third day on 302 for 5. 

Essex were held up by two stands of 111, between openers Daryl Mitchell (67) and Jake Libby (41) and then fourth-wicket pair Tom Fell (53) and Brett D'Oliveira (67). 

The bowlers persevered, though, led by spinner Simon Harmer whose  figures of 3 for 75 included a late-morning burst of three wickets for four runs in 22 balls. 

The home side has work still to do to reach the follow-on figure of 412 on the final day. If they achieve that, the game appears destined for a draw. 

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Group 2

Somerset v Middlesex

Taunton (third day of four): Middlesex 357 & 117, Somerset 268 & 104-4 - Somerset need 103 runs to win with six second-innings wickets remaining

Scorecard

Craig Overton and Josh Davey sparked a dramatic Somerset resurgence at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

When the home side could add only 90 to their overnight score of 178 for 4, Steve Finn finishing with 5 for 77, they conceded a first innings lead of 89 runs. 

But Overton (5 for 34) and Davey (3 for 28) skittled Middlesex for just 117 in their second innings, leaving a victory target of 207. By the close, the hosts had posted 104 for 4, with skipper Tom Abell unbeaten on 43.

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Gloucestershire v Leicestershire

Bristol (third day of four): Leicestershire 421 & 125-3, Gloucestershire 275 - Leicestershire lead by 271 runs with seven second-innings wickets remaining

Scorecard

Chris Wright’s career-best 7 for 53 gave Leicestershire a chance to press for a first victory of the season as they took a lead of 271 by the end of day three.

He almost single-handedly bowled the hosts out for 275 at Bristol, to take a first-innings lead of 146, before his side’s batsmen made 125 for 3 by the close.

It was a 14th first-class five-for for Wright, who turns 36 later this summer and is in the final year of his contract.

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Group 3

Yorkshire v Northamptonshire

Headingley (third day of four): Yorkshire 206 & 247, Northamptonshire 234 & 94-4 - Northamptonshire need 126 runs to win with six second-innings wickets remaining

Scorecard

David Willey dented former county Northamptonshire’s hopes of claiming a rare Championship victory at Emerald Headingley with runs, a wicket and a run out on day three.

Willey’s unbeaten 41 from No.10 in Yorkshire’s order was their top score of a second innings which recovered from 86 for 6 to 247, setting a 220 target at tea.

Northants then closed on 94 for 4, with 17.5 overs lost to bad light from 6pm. They require 126 more.

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Sussex v Lancashire

Hove (third day of four): Sussex 328 & 154, Lancashire 230 & 124-2 - Lancashire need 129 runs to win with 10 second-innings wickets remaining

Scorecard

Leaders Lancashire are favourites to win their third LV=Insurance County Championship match of the season despite conceding a first-innings lead of 98.

They responded by bowling Sussex out for just 154 to set themselves a target of 253 and then openers Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings got their second innings off to a flying start with a stand of 102 in 20 overs.

Davies led the way with a 59-ball 73, with 10 fours and a pulled six over square leg off Henry Crocombe before he was bowled by Stuart Meaker.

And Jack Carson gave his side a lifeline with the late wicket of former Sussex player Luke Wells, who was lbw padding up. 

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