England may have the upper hand against West Indies at Lord's but they were reminded again that the precocious talents of Philip Hughes lie in wait for them later in the summer as the 20-year-old Australian batsman registered his third century in four Championship innings for Middlesex at the Oval.
Surrey had totalled 388 despite Mark Ramprakash adding only seven to his overnight 126 but Middlesex are 200 for 2 in reply, Hughes sharing an opening partnership of 165 with Billy Godleman. The opener, who scored 84 runs in boundaries, resumes on 134 not out.
After Wednesday's outstanding form with the ball, Lancashire captain Glen Chapple was their key man with the bat at New Road, where a second win in three Championship matches under former England coach Peter Moores looks possible. Chapple's six wickets helped skittle Worcestershire for 167. Yesterday, with his side toiling at 181 for 7, he scored 89, adding 123 for the eighth wicket with Kyle Hogg (60), enabling Lancashire to establish a first-innings lead of 180.
At Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire built a first-innings lead of 123 against Somerset thanks to a century stand from Adam Voges and Ali Brown in a total of 261. Voges (63) and Brown (63) added 119 for the fifth wicket. Marcus Trescothick hit an unbeaten half-century as Somerset, bowled out for 138 in their first innings, edged in front, three wickets down in their second innings.
A career-best 159 from captain Alex Gidman has given Gloucestershire a commanding lead over Leicestershire at Bristol.