County Championship round-up: Regal knock from Prince puts Somerset on the back foot

 

It's make or break time for Lancashire. Last year's winners of the County Championship will turn up at Liverpool today knowing a victory over Somerset could preserve their First Division status, while defeat is unthinkable.

Somerset resume on 22 for 1, needing another 257 runs to beat the Red Rose, with Marcus Trescothick at the crease. Lancashire were indebted to a brilliant century on a tricky pitch from Ashwell Prince, who proved there are plenty of talented South African batsmen making runs in England this summer. The left-hander hit 129, and put on almost 100 runs with Kyle Hogg, as the pair rescued Lancs from the depths of 50 for 6.

The leaders Warwickshire will do well to force a result against Middlesex today. Middlesex lead by 182 runs going into the final day, with seven wickets in hand, including that of England discard Eoin Morgan.

Worcestershire are on the verge of an innings defeat against Sussex, for whom the Ireland batsman Ed Joyce made a century, before another England cast-off, Monty Panesar, ripped through the Pears' batting.

In the Second Division, Stephen Peters hit an excellent century as Northamptonshire put Yorkshire under pressure while the match between struggling Essex and Leicestershire looks destined to finish in a draw.

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