Ealham and Walker offer Kent hope of survival

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The Independent Online

Mark Ealham and Matthew Walker came to Kent's rescue at Chelmsford and blocked Essex's path to victory in their County Championship First Division match after the England captain, Nasser Hussain, had completed his first double century for Essex to help his side to a first-innings total of 514 - a lead of 133.

When Ealham and Walker joined forces, Kent were 108 for 4, but they stuck at it for 37 overs as they added 127 before Walker was out for 65. Ealham, however, remained defiant until the close, when he had scored 85 of Kent's 278 for 5 - a lead of 145.

Earlier, Hussain had taken his overnight 192 to 206, before falling leg-before to Ealham after seven hours and 40 minutes at the crease. That was one run short of his career-best score, against Australia at Edgbaston in 1997.

A maiden first-class century from Andy Gray and more fiery bowling from Steve Kirby put Yorkshire in sight of victory on the third day of their Second Division match against Somerset at Taunton. Gray took his overnight 44 to 104 as Yorkshire made 512 and took a first innings lead of 237. The home side made a better fist of batting in their second innings, but from 191 for 3 Kirby took three wickets in 13 balls to finish the day with 4 for 48 to follow his 5 for 74 in the first innings.

Phil Weston and the South African Jonty Rhodes scored centuries against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl as Gloucestershire reached 382 for 9, a lead of 237. Weston hit 100, his first century since moving from Worcestershire, while Rhodes ended the third day undefeated on 134.

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