County Championship round-up: Panesar's six-wicket haul boosts his England claim


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The Independent Online

Sussex have their sights on knocking Warwickshire off the top of the First Division table after Monty Panesar added second-innings figures of six for 77 to go with Wednesday's career-best seven for 60 as Somerset were bowled out for 195.

The left-arm spinner's performance in front of England selector James Whitaker enhanced his prospects of winning a place on this winter's tour of India and enabled Sussex, who have won four of their last six matches to move into second place, to contemplate a first title since 2007.

Sussex have only two matches left but assuming they can chase down a modest target of 164 at Taunton they will go top if Warwickshire fail to beat Middlesex at Edgbaston. They were 31 without loss at the close.

Only a month after looking doomed to relegation, Durham believe they could finish as high as second after they continued their revival with a fourth consecutive win.

After a wobbly start chasing a modest target of 151 to beat Worcestershire at Chester-le-Street, they were guided home by the experience of Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood, who came together at 35 for 4 to guide Durham home with an unbroken partnership of 119.

Durham took only 47 points from their first 10 matches without a single win and were 27 points adrift of safety as recently as 21 July. But since Collingwood replaced Phil Mustard as captain their fortunes have been transformed, their winning streak yielding 80 points.

"We want to make it five wins in a row now which would be a record for us," Collingwood said. "We could even finish second still, which would be amazing."

A career-best 223 not out by Wayne Madsen enabled Second Division leaders Derbyshire to take a first-innings lead of 112 over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, where the South African batsman shared an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 259 – 24 short of a world record set by Derbyshire in 1910 – with wicketkeeper Tom Poynton, who also made a maiden century.

A maiden Test century from Cheteshwar Pujara put India in a strong position at 307 for 5 at the close of the first day of the first Test against New Zealand at Hyderabad.

Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar both fell cheaply to the left-arm seamer Trent Boult but 24-year-old Pujara played patiently to be 119 not out at the close from 226 balls, having hit 15 fours and a six.