Nottinghamshire suffered only their second defeat of the season but it was by an emphatic margin as Essex won by 143 runs at Chelmsford. For the second time in the match, the title favourites were undone by the pace of Jamaican-born Maurice Chambers, who supplemented his first-innings 6 for 68 with four more to notch the first 10-wicket haul of his career.
Essex were bowled out for 328 just after lunch yesterday, which left Nottinghamshire the best part of five sessions to score 303 for victory. But they were quickly facing a battle to take the match into a fourth day, let alone win it.
Chambers took four of the five Nottinghamshire wickets to fall before tea, removing Alex Hales's off-stump and having Samit Patel brilliantly caught by a diving John Maunders before Steven Mullaney played on.
He took out Mark Wagh's off-stump with one that nipped back in the last over before the break, after which leg-spinner Danish Kaneria also took four wickets, with only Ally Brown (62) offering much resistance.
Hampshire climbed off the bottom of Division One with a resounding defeat of Kent at the Rose Bowl. Hampshire declared their first innings on 553 for 7 after James Vince, Nic Pothas and Sean Irvine had completed half-centuries, before bowling out Kent – for whom Rob Key retired hurt after being hit on the hand by Dominic Cork – for 191 to complete victory by an innings and 111 runs.
Glamorgan lost by 10 wickets to Northamptonshire in Division Two at Wantage Road, where they were making a fight of it at 232-2, thanks to a century by Australian opener Mark Cosgrove, but collapsed in the wake of an Andrew Hall hat-trick to be 325 all out, after which the home side scored 40 to win without loss.