Byas battles to century to put Yorkshire on top

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An unbeaten century from the captain David Byas put Yorkshire in command yesterday against Northamptonshire in the First Division of the County Championship.

The visitors had started the second day at Northampton on 45 without loss in reply to the home side's 253. With only 55 from Matthew Wood in support, it needed Byas's 110 to lead the visitors to 309 all out.

The Northamptonshire reply had reached 26 for 1 at the close, Ryan Sidebottom snapping up Adrian Rollins for 1.

At Taunton, Essex collapsed to 34 for 3 after two centuries from Somerset put the home side firmly in the driving seat. Keith Dutch scored 118 and Rob Turner hit an unbeaten 115 as Somerset prospered against some ineffective Essex bowling. Mark Ilott took 4 for 116 and then watched as three of his team-mates lost their wickets for just 34 runs.

In the Second Division Graeme Hick continued his good form with 171 as Worcestershire made the most of the fine weather at Derby.

The bottom side's poor bowling attack was put to the sword as Vikram Solanki scored 109 in a first-innings total of 390 for 5 at the close, with Solanki hitting four sixes on the way to his century.

Mark Wagh gave Warwickshire a narrow lead over Gloucestershire at Bristol with 89 in a total of 204.

Wagh steered the visitors to a first-innings lead of 59 runs in response Gloucestershire's disappointing 145 all out, with the home side adding only 10 to their overnight score for the last two wickets.