Gloucestershire tighten grip on Middlesex

Last updated at 13:29 05 August 2004

Second-placed Gloucestershire kept themselves well placed to close the gap on Frizzell County Championship leaders Warwickshire with three wickets this morning against Middlesex.

Resuming on 66 for three at Lord's, Middlesex had only progressed to 157 for six at lunch.

First Jonathan Lewis tempted Paul Hutchison into an edge behind to Stephen Adshead to walk for just three.

Paul Weekes (four) was then out lbw to New Zealand paceman James Franklin and James Averis bowled Jamie Dalrymple for two to leave the hosts trailing by 190 runs with four wickets remaining.

Owais Shah was unbeaten on 67, hitting 10 fours off 146 balls.

Surrey manoeuvred themselves into a position of strength this morning as they bowled out Worcestershire for 295 and built a lead of 175 runs by lunch.

The Pears added only 14 to their overnight total as Matt Mason fell victim to Azhar Mahmood (three for 83) and Nadeem Malik was out for a duck to James Ormond.

Surrey then put on 90 for the first wicket before Richard Clinton was trapped lbw by Gareth Batty for 27. They were 95 for one at lunch.

Surrey need a win to ease their fears of relegation after winning the Championship in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

Alex Loudon's 50 off 86 balls gave Kent a solid second-innings start against Sussex at Canterbury as they reached 117 for one.

He was caught and bowled by Mushtaq Ahmed as Kent tried to cover for the loss of David Fulton, who retired hurt on two.

The home side were 312 runs ahead with nine wickets in hand after bowling Sussex out for 332 last night. Ed Smith was two runs short of a half-century when play stopped for lunch.

Somerset hit back while Hants struggle

In Division Two, Somerset all-rounder Ian Blackwell took five wickets against third-placed Glamorgan at Taunton this morning to rein the visitors in to 196 for five.

They were 126 without loss when Mark Wallace was removed for 70 and Blackwell then removed David Hemp, Mike Powell and Matthew Elliott, who hit 85 off 179 balls. Just before the end of the morning session Jonathan Hughes became his fifth victim, out for one.

Second-placed Hampshire took three wickets in the morning session of their match against Essex.

The south coast side still face a real battle to take anything from this match though and were 509 runs behind with Essex on 270 for six in their second innings.

Paul Grayson's impressive knock ended on 75 at the hands of James Bruce. The same bowler then accounted for James Foster (seven) and Ronnie Irani was out for 41 to Billy Taylor.