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Essex closing in on third consecutive County Championship victory

Nick Browne (163) and Ravi Bopara (135) both struck centuries.

Ravi Bopara helped Essex into a strong position at Trent Bridge (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Ravi Bopara helped Essex into a strong position at Trent Bridge (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Essex moved closer to a third consecutive victory after again dominating on day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Nick Browne (163) and Ravi Bopara (135) both struck centuries as the 2017 champions declared on 519 for nine, which left the home side facing a deficit of 306.

By close of play, Nottinghamshire had stumbled to 100 for five, captain Steven Mullaney out for a duck when bowled by Jamie Porter, and still 206 runs away from making the visitors bat again.

Essex had resumed at 345 for three, but lost Browne to the fifth ball of the morning when he was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad.

Azhar Ali hit his highest Championship score of the season to help Somerset build a strong position going into the final day of the match with Hampshire at Taunton.

The experienced Pakistan batsman contributed a top score of 79 to celebrate his newly-awarded county cap as the Division One leaders posted 358 for eight declared in their second innings, a lead of 417.

Hampshire closed on 12 for one, as Ollie Soames was bowled by Lewis Gregory with the sixth ball.

Ashes hopeful Dawid Malan produced a batting masterclass to blunt Derbyshire’s victory hopes against Middlesex.

The Middlesex skipper made an unbeaten 177 to take his side past the 408 follow-on target as the visitors closed day three on 436 for six, still 121 runs behind.

John Simpson was 91 not out as the pair shared an unbroken stand of 186.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice, meanwhile, became only the fifth bowler in Derbyshire’s history to strike with his opening ball in first-class cricket when he had Max Holden caught behind.

At Canterbury, Dominic Sibley hit an unbeaten 207 as Warwickshire continued to make the Kent bowlers toil, finishing 400 for three at stumps.

Sibley and opening partner Will Rhodes (109) had put on 221 for the first wicket in response to Kent’s season-best total of 585 for seven declared.

Rob Yates, though, lasted just over half-an-hour for his three, while Sam Hain added 40 before he was caught behind off Harry Podmore.

Yorkshire and Surrey will both hold realistic hopes of forcing victory heading into the final day at Scarborough.

The hosts started their second innings, trailing by 35, at the beginning of day three and closed on 303 for nine from 96 overs – a lead of 268.

Opener Adam Lyth produced a top-score of 68, while David Willey made an impressive 43 off 35 balls. England all-rounder Sam Curran picked up three wickets for 75 in his 21 overs.

In Division Two, leaders Glamorgan moved into an overall lead of 216 heading into the final day at Sophia Gardens.

Marnus Labuschagne will resume looking to close in on his century at 90 not out, having become the first batsman across all counties to reach 1,000 first-class runs this season.

Glamorgan are 137 for one, after Worcestershire were eventually dismissed for 370, with Brett D’Oliveira last man out for 103.

England bowler James Anderson has been ruled out of the rest of Lancashire’s clash against Durham after sustaining a calf injury.

Anderson, 36, was forced to leave the field after pulling up during his run up on the third morning of the match at Sedbergh and faces an anxious wait on his fitness ahead of the start of the Ashes.

Durham took five second-innings wickets during the afternoon session, and Lancashire will resume at 204 for seven, a lead of 260 runs, with captain Dane Vilas 74 not out.

Northamptonshire claimed their first Championship win of the season after defeating Sussex by a record 393 runs at Hove.

Despite captain Ben Brown making 46, the hosts – bowled out for 106 in their first innings – were dismissed for 105 after losing nine wickets for 70 runs to suffer a heaviest loss in a Championship match.

Ben Sanderson chalked up his 200th first-class scalp in taking four for 18 to finish with 10 wickets overall, while Brett Hutton claimed four for 32.

Earlier, Nathan Buck hit a rapid 51 as Northamptonshire added a further 119 runs during the morning session before being bowled out for 331.

Ollie Robinson completed a 10-wicket match haul, which proved little consolation for Sussex.

PA

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