County Championship round-up: Ealham ton punishes Kent's wastefulness

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The Independent Online

When Mark Ealham wandered to the Canterbury crease yesterday with Nottinghamshire on 198 for 6 Kent could have been forgiven for thinking that their first innings of 162 would not turn out to be so costly.

One hundred and thirty Ealham runs later and a total of 434 for 9 declared and Kent were being made to pay. Ealham shared two stands just shy of three figures with No 9 Paul Franks (52) and then No 10 Darren Pattison (33). The morning session saw Samit Patel (54) complete a half-century after the visitors had started the day on 121 for three. Kent - for whom Darren Stevens was the pick of the bowlers with four for 70 - were 14 without loss in their second innings at the close, and needed 258 runs to make Notts bat again. It was advantage Worcestershire against Warwickshire as the two sides relegated last season both looked to get their season off a to winning start.

The visitors were 150 for two in their second innings at Edgbaston, former England batsman Vikram Solanki unbeaten on 75.

That gave Worcestershire an overall lead of 184, with Warwickshire all out for 215 in their first innings after losing their final five wickets for the addition of just 60 runs after lunch. Worcestershire’s bowlers made light of the loss of Simon Jones, who was unable to bowl due to a stiff neck. Jonathan Trott top scored with 80 for the home side. An unbeaten century from opener Tom New ensured Leicestershire made serene progress towards Middlesex's first-innings 312 by reaching 246 for one at Grace Road.

Matthew Boyce was out for 69 after an opening stand of 143 but HD Ackerman (63no) picked up the mantle. Middlesex lost the final five wickets of their first innings this morning for the addition of just 55 runs. Ravi Bopara and new signing Jason Gallian both made large unbeaten hundreds as Essex took control of their Second Division match with Northamptonshire at Chelmsford.

Bopara made 137 and Gallian 146 as Essex closed on 323 for 2, a lead of 43.

Chris Rogers led Derbyshire’s fightback against Gloucestershire at Bristol. After the hosts had extended their first-innings lead to 190 by being bowled out for 314, Rogers hit 114, supported by Dominic Telo’s 65 but the fall of both to the off-spin of Marcus North saw the visitors close on 235 for 4, a lead of 45.