Cricket: Hampshire humble Essex

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The Independent Online
ESSEX SLUMPED to another heavy defeat in the Britannic Assurance County Championship yesterday. Hampshire became the latest club to take advantage of the bottom club's injuries with a victory by innings and 111 runs at Portsmouth.

The visitors began the third day in a seemingly hopeless position at 50 for 2, still needing another 299 to make Hampshire bat a second time. They lasted until an hour after lunch when they were dismissed for 238.

Peter Bowler compiled a patient 41 not out to lead his side to a two- wicket win over Northamptonshire at Taunton.

The Somerset captain hit just two fours in his 165-ball innings, but it was a fine effort on a dry pitch which offered plenty of assistance to the spinners.

Defeat was hard on the Northamptonshire off-spinner Jason Brown, who claimed a career-best 6 for 53 from 41.1 overs to finish with match-figures of 11 for 102.

Kevin Dean bowled Derbyshire to a 28-run win over Worcestershire with 5 for 95 to add to his four in the first innings.

With Worcestershire chasing 345 Vikram Solanki scored a career-best 170 off 188 balls to take his side within sight of what would have been a memorable victory.

Derbyshire dropped Solanki three times - the first before he had scored - and three others in Worcestershire's second innings.

With both attacks badly depleted at Chester-le-Street, the bat continued to dominate as Durham easily wiped out a first-innings deficit of 90 against Glamorgan yesterday.

John Morris passed his season's-best of 50 to finish unbeaten on 68 as he shared an unbroken stand of 128 with Jon Lewis, leaving Durham 38 ahead with all wickets intact.

England's youngsters are pressing for victory in the first Under-19 Test against Pakistan at New Road, Worcester.

Graeme Swann, the Northamptonshire off-spinner who collected a pair when batting, took 5 for 40 in 15.3 overs as the tourists closed at 144 for 8, still requiring 55 for victory on the fourth and final day today.