Sajid Mahmood may feel he has something to prove to the Lancashire coach, Peter Moores, given that it was during Moores' period as England coach that his Test career was placed on hold. If that is giving the tall fast bowler a little extra motivation, then Lancashire – and Moores – will happily reap the benefits, particularly if it translates to the kind of success Mahmood enjoyed at New Road yesterday.
Lancashire's six-wicket win over Worcestershire, which takes them at least temporarily to the top of the First Division table, was largely down to six wickets from Mahmood, whose 10-wicket haul in the match was the first of his career, as Worcestershire collapsed from 223 for 3 to 301 all out. It left Lancashire with the relatively modest target of 121 to win, which was never likely to pose them too many problems.
Bowled out for 138 on the opening day, Somerset's 383 second time around leaves Nottinghamshire facing a potentially tricky task to chase down the further 149 runs they need to complete victory today and regain pole position in the table.
Marcus Trescothick was denied a century, falling on 98 when a loose shot to point gave 20-year-old Luke Fletcher the fifth of his seven wickets in the match, but half-centuries from Zander de Bruyn and Craig Kieswetter helped Somerset reach 383. With a target of 261, Nottinghamshire go into the final day 112 for 3.
Despite a magnificent 195 from the Australian opener, Phillip Hughes, a draw looks the likely outcome between Surrey and Middlesex in the Second Division at the Oval.
Northamptonshire, needing a further 160 with all their wickets intact, are favourites to beat Essex at the County Ground, while an unbeaten 174 from Martin van Jaarsveld and 133 from Geraint Jones has put Kent in position to force the issue against Glamorgan at Canterbury.