Cricket / Round-Up: Durham's doughty display

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The Independent Online
WE MAY be clutching at straws looking for a Championship challenger to Essex, but two more sides in their considerable slipstream, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, lost ground yesterday, writes Adam Szreter.

At Edgbaston, Durham gave Allan Donald more of a fight in their second innings than they had in the first. Needing 180 to avoid an innings defeat, Wayne Larkins, with 77, and Phil Bainbridge, unbeaten on 71, made sure that last season's runners-up would have to settle for maximum bonus points.

Across the Midlands at Northampton, Craig White, Chris Pickles and the weather combined to frustrate Allan Lamb's men. Set 241 to win in 65 overs, Yorkshire were struggling at 101 for 4, with David Byas retired hurt after having his nose broken by Curtly Ambrose. But White (40) and Pickles (19 not out) then survived the next 24 overs before rain and bad light restricted the final session.

Sussex won for the first time in eight Championship matches, and for the first time in six years at Eastbourne. Makes you wonder why they play there. Franklyn Stephenson, their Bajan all-rounder, led the way with 44 not out as they reached their target of 161 off 54 overs with 21 balls to spare against Derbyshire. Earlier, Ed Giddins, bowling in his home town, had taken a career-best 5 for 32.

Neil Williams also registered a new personal best, 8 for 75, to help Middlesex to their fourth Championship win of the season, over Gloucestershire at Lord's. Half- centuries from John Carr and Jason Pooley finished the job.