County round-up: Worcestershire take heart from Davies after wickets tumble

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The Independent Online

The wicketkeeper Steven Davies lead Worcestershire's rearguard action against Durham in the County Championship First Division match at Chester-le-Street yesterday.

After being dismissed for 297 in their first innings, Durham reduced the visitors to 41 for 3 before Graeme Hick and Ben Smith put on 97 for the fourth wicket. Hick made 66 before he was bowled by Ottis Gibson, and Smith made 60 before being caught and bowled by Ben Harmison. At tea, Worcestershire were 218 for 5, a lead of 103 runs.

On day one at The Rose Bowl, Surrey were in command against Hampshire, Mark Ramprakash among the runs. He was 98 not out as Surrey reached 205 for the loss of two wickets.

In the Second Division, Middlesex were chasing Nottinghamshire's first-innings total of 473. Ed Smith was leading the response with 79 not out after England opener Andrew Strauss managed just 16.

Promotion rivals Somerset reached 325 for 8 on the first day of their match with Glamorgan at Taunton, with the opening pair of Marcus Trescothick and Neil Edwards both hitting 52 before falling to Alex Wharf.

Leicestershire's top four were skittled for 20 runs by Gloucestershire's Carl Greenidge as they were bowled out for 229 at Grace Road. Greenidge finished with 5 for 54 after dismissing the top scorer Claude Henderson for 81.

Essex recovered from 80 for 5 at Derbyshire to post 272 all out. James Middlebrook hit 81 not out and 272 began to look a much better score when the hosts were reduced to 9 for 3, Andy Bichel taking two early wickets.