Cricket Round-up: Millns digs deep

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The Independent Online
LEICESTERSHIRE, in the pits at the beginning of June when they languished fourth from bottom in the Championship table, had the former Nottinghamshire miner David Millns to thank for a 68-run victory over Essex, the leading contestants for this summer's title, at Grace Road yesterday, writes Barrie Fairall.

Watched by Micky Stewart, England's manager, Millns took 5 for 67 as Essex were dismissed for 280. Besides working his way through the champions, the fast bowler has worked himself into contention for the final Test with Pakistan at The Oval on Thursday week.

Millns made headlines last year with a career-best 9 for 37 against Derbyshire and again last week when two hauls of five at a cost of 87 runs earned his side a 10-wicket win over Durham. Now the 27-year-old emerged with match figures of 8 for 90, taking his total of wickets this season to 69.

Beginning on 103 without loss, Essex deteriorated once Millns had removed John Stephenson (42) and Paul Prichard (106) and he finished them off with a spell of 3 for 10 in three overs. As for Leicestershire, second in the table, they cut Essex's lead to 31 points.

In a thrilling finish, Bill Athey hit a Championship best of 181 as Gloucestershire, chasing 346 off 81 overs, recorded a four-wicket win over Sussex with five balls to spare at Cheltenham. Hugh Morris also scored a century, but Glamorgan's bowlers were unable to back him up as Somerset played out for a draw at Abergavenny.

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