This was a week of firsts in the Championship as Lancashire recorded their first win in thrilling style and Derbyshire were beaten for the first time this season. Glamorgan had one of their best chances to register their first win of the season as well, but Leicestershire thwarted them in a manner very similar to Middlesex thwarting Lancashire last week. Northamptonshire were also able to hold on for a draw at Headingley despite being 45-5 at one point in their first innings. The results were:
Lancashire beat Durham by two wickets
Middlesex beat Sussex by ten wickets
Worcestershire drew with Somerset
Glamorgan drew with Leicestershire
Gloucestershire beat Derbyshire by seven wickets
Yorkshire drew with Northamptonshire
Lancashire’s victory has seen them jump to fifth in the table, though with a match in hand against most sides. Durham only got three bonus points (all bowling) from that match, but they bowled their overs so slowly they were deducted four points. Losing a point from the match means they are now 14 points behind eighth placed Worcs. With neither Notts or Warks playing this round, the top of the first division is unchanged with Notts on top by a single point. Warwickshire have only played six matches to Notts’ seven, however.
In the second division, Yorkshire just barely got enough points from their draw to stay ahead of Kent and in the promotion zone, whilst Derbyshire are still comfortably atop the table (a 28 point lead) despite their defeat. Glamorgan’s failure to defeat Leicestershire keeps them at the foot of the division and the only side yet to record a victory in the second tier.
Looking ahead to the last round of fixtures before the T20 break: Notts and Warks will both be confident of victory facing Lancs and Durham respectively. Lancashire have now played well two weeks in a row, however, and Durham will be keen to come back from their agonising defeat. Durham’s hopes will be dented by the fact that Onions, the hero of their last match, is unlikely to take part due to being in the England squad for the Third Test. The second division features much of the same, with the top two teams playing the bottom two. Kent will thus likely need a victory against Hampshire to stay near the promotion zone.