Championship round-up: Warwickshire face uphill battle to stave off defeat

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The Independent Online

Warwickshire, bottom of the First Division, may struggle to avoid a sixth defeat of the season at Chester-le-Street, where six wickets for the leg-spinner Imran Tahir helped them dismiss Durham for 289 but left them facing four sessions of batting against an attack that had them teetering at 169 for 9 in the first innings.

A target of 354 looked more theoretical than feasible and, at three down for 111 at the close, will hope for rain interruptions today, even though Jim Troughton and Ateeq Javid have led something of a recovery from 46 for 3.

Earlier, Durham had set about building a lead quickly, adding 80 runs to their overnight 78 for 0 but then losing three wickets for eight runs before reaching lunch at 196 for 3. Michael Di Venuto added 61 runs in 55 balls to his overnight 31 before he was taken at short leg for 92 off Tahir, who finished with 6 for 89. Earlier in the season, he took 8 for 114 against the same opposition at Edgbaston.

Sometime England one-day batsman Joe Denly hit four sixes and seven fours to provide belated entertainment for the Canterbury crowd before the three-day match against Pakistan ended in a draw after the tourists had spent half the day in batting practice.

Pakistan had batted on after lunch on the final day to reach 264 for 3 before declaring with a lead of 365 over Kent after Fawad Alam (68) and Umar Amin (73) shared a second-wicket stand of 141. Shoaib Malik (48 not out) and the promising teenager Mohammad Aamer, who was unbeaten on 44, added 85 for the fourth wicket. The Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, missed the last day to undergo a precautionary scan on a troublesome rib injury.

In the Second Division, Gloucestershire eased to a 10-wicket win over Middlesex with more than a day to spare at Bristol after the visitors were bowled out for 228, Jon Lewis finishing with 4 for 45 and Gemaal Hussain 3 for 61 to raise his tally for the season to 39.

There was victory, too, for Leicestershire, who beat Worcestershire by seven wickets at Grace Road, where the veteran Paul Nixon hit 55 as the home side chased 182 to win.

Derbyshire bowled out Surrey for 253 in the second innings at Chesterfield, giving themselves a target of 408 to secure a first win in six matches. There was more frustration for Mark Ramprakash, who followed his first-innings dismissal on 99 by falling for 30 when 11 runs more would have made him the first to complete 1,000 first-class runs for the season.