County Round-up: Lancashire end losing streak

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The Independent Online

Lancashire broke through for their first win in five County Championship First Division games as they successfully chased a victory target of 264 against bottom-placed Worcestershire yesterday.

Paul Horton led the way for the Red Rose, his 170-ball 77 – comfortably the highest score of the match – helping Lancashire reel in the target for the loss of just three wickets.

Mark Chilton also chipped in with 45, before V V S Laxman (64no) and Steven Croft (40no) combined in an unbroken stand of 91 to guide the hosts to victory.

Hampshire are facing a battle to avoid an innings defeat today against Somerset at Taunton. They finished last night on 122 for three after being asked to follow on.

Opener Michael Carberry had stood firm in making 123 as Hampshire were bowled out for 264 in their first innings, a deficit of 246 runs, but he would be dismissed twice in the day when he was caught and bowled by Arul Suppiah for 52 second time round.

John Crawley and Liam Dawson will be tasked with starting the Hampshire rearguard on the final day.

In the Second Division, Leicestershire beat Middlesex by eight wickets in little more than two days at Grace Road. The Londoners began this morning still nine runs behind and with only four second-innings wickets intact.

They lasted only eight overs before being bowled out for 91 as Andrew Harris finished with four for 24 and his fellow seamer Iain O'Brien recorded match figures of nine for 68. This meant Leicestershire needed just seven runs for victory – and although they lost both openers, they completed the formality.

Four Kent batsmen reached centuries yesterday as they batted themselves into a position of control, reaching 509 for five against Surrey.

Openers Joe Denly and Robert Key scored 123 each before they were both run out – and while the next two batsmen out, Geraint Jones and Darren Stevens, made ducks, Martin van Jaarsveld (110) and Justin Kemp (121no) ensured that the runs continued to flow.

Kent therefore take a 123-run lead into the final day, with the only realistic chance of winning the game.

Gloucestershire were 10 for none after bowling out Derbyshire for 326 on the opening day of their match at Cheltenham.

Greg Smith top-scored with 126 for Derbyshire, with James Franklin (three for 59) and Jon Lewis (three for 40) being the pick of the bowlers for the home side.

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