County Championship round-up: Ajmal Shahzad settling at Notts

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The Independent Online

Performance of the day Ajmal Shahzad has made a low-key start to life as a Nottinghamshire bowler following his fall-out with Yorkshire and a move to Lancashire that was curtailed, in effect, when the Red Rose county were relegated. Trent Bridge may be a helpful ground for bowlers but those new to it must first learn how to make it work for them and Shahzad is still getting to grips with his new surroundings. In the sea air at Hove yesterday, he first turned an overnight 35 not out into a maiden half-century for Nottinghamshire. Then he found conditions to his liking with the ball and delivered his best performance so far for his new county, bowling Chris Nash off a bottom edge, cartwheeling Mike Yardy's off stump and finding the edge to have Rory Hamilton-Brown caught at first slip.

Murphy shines for Northants

Batsman of the day It was no surprise that Second Division leaders Northamptonshire chose merely to chase batting points on the last day of their rain-affected match against Hampshire at Wantage Road – they are, after all, as well equipped to do so as any county. Yesterday, wicketkeeper David Murphy – batting at No 10 – became the 11th Northants player to make a half-century in the Championship this season. Australian fast bowler Trent Copeland made his second of the year and both he and Murphy shared 100-plus partnerships with all-rounder Andrew Hall, who completed his second century.

Lancs so close to thrilling win

Extras Lancashire might feel they were unlucky not to complete a dramatic victory over Gloucestershire at Aigburth in a match that went to the last ball of the final hour but may rue not declaring on their overnight lead of 327. Gloucestershire still had six wickets in hand at the start of the final 16 overs after Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall had blocked for the best part of two hours and only then did a collapse begin when Gidman fell leg before to Andrea Agathangelou, who ultimately took the ninth wicket to tumble with the penultimate ball of the match before Liam Norwell survived his one delivery to secure the draw.