Marcus Trescothick completed his 50th first-class century, confirming his return to form in an injury-hampered season, but was upstaged by Monty Panesar as Sussex push to prove themselves to be authentic title challengers by beating Somerset at Taunton.
Panesar, with England selector James Whitaker on hand to assess his claims for a Test recall, finished with a career-best 7 for 60 on a turning pitch as Somerset wasted Trescothick's robust 123, losing their last five wickets for just six runs to be 247 all out. At the close, however, Sussex were in trouble themselves at 161 for 6.
Australian batsman Philip Hughes made his second Championship century for bottom side Worcestershire but they subsided to 264 all out in their second innings. Durham need only 151 to secure a fourth straight win, although they suffered an early setback when Will Smith was bowled for two.
Worcestershire batsman James Cameron, meanwhile, has announced his immediate retirement, aged 26, to pursue a career in financial services.
David Willey, the son of Test umpire Peter Willey, confirmed his all-round talents with his fourth half-century of the Second Division season as Northamptonshire totalled 400 against leaders Derbyshire, having earlier been obliged to apologise for describing Northampton as a "dive" and its inhabitants as "scum" in a rant on Twitter.
Ravi Bopara's guest appearance for Gloucestershire against the South Africans in a one-day match at Bristol proved more beneficial for his bowling than his batting. Bopara, who dropped out of the Test series against South Africa on personal grounds, is seeking to find form ahead of England's one-day series against the tourists that begins in Cardiff tomorrow. He was caught behind for just three but was the most effective bowler, taking 3 for 43. The South Africans won by three wickets with an over to spare.