County Championship round-up: Leaders made to struggle by buoyant Essex

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The Independent Online

Having inflicted Nottinghamshire's first defeat of the season in the last round, Essex are well placed to damage Yorkshire's title prospects after finishing day two at Chelmsford in a commanding position. The First Division leaders, whose 21-point advantage going into this round has to be set against Nottinghamshire's two matches in hand, need to reach 250 to avoid the follow-on after Essex reached 399.

Jacques Rudolph and Adam Lyth put on 81 for the first wicket but Anthony McGrath went cheaply and after Lyth had gone for 75, bowled behind his legs by Chris Wright, Yorkshire's reply struggled to regain momentum. Their captain, Andrew Gale, was caught behind three short of a half-century, after which England's Tim Bresnan was dropped on nought.

Yorkshire may need Adil Rashid to demonstrate his prowess with the bat to get them anywhere near Essex's score. Earlier, the in-form leg-spinner had completed his fourth five-wicket haul in as many matches.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed by eight runs to mark his Lancashire debut with a century against former club Durham at Chester-le-Street. Luke Sutton's unbeaten 101 helped the West Indian's new county reach 344 all out before England's James Anderson struck an early blow with the ball.

Mark Ramprakash completed the fifth double hundred of his career as Surrey posted 620 for 7 declared against Northamptonshire at The Oval and former England spinner Robert Croft needs only one more wicket to complete 1,000 first-class wickets for Glamorgan after two successes against Leicestershire.