County Championship round-up: Century-man Trescothick lifts Somerset's title bid

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The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick followed his 228 not out in Somerset's victory over Essex last week with his fourth century of the season as the West Country side maintained their position as contenders in an intriguing race for the Championship that could see September arrive with still four possible winners.

The ex-England opener, in his first season as captain, made 128 with 20 fours and a six before he drove a ball from Dale Benkenstein to extra cover. Against a Durham side missing the injured Steve Harmison, Somerset, who have never won the title, closed on 287 for 4.

Rain washed out the first session after Somerset won the toss but Trescothick made up for lost time, hitting 11 fours in his first 50 and putting on 119 for the first wicket with Arul Suppiah, who was leg before to former Somerset favourite Ian Blackwell, followed by another 113 with Nick Compton.

Trescothick's side began the round in second place, four points behind Nottinghamshire and two ahead of Yorkshire, whose progress was fitful after Hampshire won the toss and put them in on a green-tinged pitch at Scarborough, where the first day had been lost to rain.

Adam Lyth and Jacques Rudolph put on 61 for the first wicket and Lyth added 65 with Anthony McGrath for the second but Yorkshire then lost four wickets for 15 runs to slump to 141 for 5 as veteran Dominic Cork had both Lyth and McGrath caught behind in the space of five deliveries.

The innings was revived by a partnership of 111 for the sixth wicket, led by Adil Rashid's 76. Yorkshire declared nine down in the interests of advancing the match but Hampshire survived three overs at the close without loss.