Round-Up: Rhodes' final stand gives Worcestershire hope

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The Independent Online

The last of many rescue acts in Steve Rhodes's 23-year career kept alive Worcestershire's slender chance of avoiding relegation in the Frizzell County Championship at New Road yesterday.

The last of many rescue acts in Steve Rhodes's 23-year career kept alive Worcestershire's slender chance of avoiding relegation in the Frizzell County Championship at New Road yesterday.

The former England wicketkeeper, who is retiring at the age of 40, batted for 44 overs to make 53 in a successful battle to avoid the follow-on against fellow division one strugglers Lancashire.

Rhodes featured in partnerships of 63 with Andrew Hall and 115 with Ray Price until Worcestershire declared at 352 for 9 in response to the visitors' 403 for 9.

Somehow Worcestershire have to conjure up a win today when Lancashire's openers, Mark Chilton and Iain Sutcliffe, resume at 58 for no wicket in their second innings - a lead of 109.

Lancashire had appeared to have this match in their pockets during an unchanged opening spell of 4 for 49 in 14 overs by Dominic Cork.

Craig Spearman's half-century led Gloucestershire to 205 for 4 in their second innings against Sussex at Bristol, a lead of 184 runs. The visitors were earlier indebted to a last-wicket partnership of 50 between Jason Lewry and James Kirtley as they were bowled out for 199 and a first-innings lead of 21. James Averis ended with 5 for 45 in his 10.2 overs.

Gloucestershire had the better of the last two sessions on a day when 21 overs were lost to a delayed start, two rain stoppages and bad light. Spearman (65) shared in a second-wicket stand of 87 with Michael Hussey (37), while Tim Hancock (32no) and Alex Gidman (33no) added an unbeaten 63 for the fifth wicket.

Northamptonshire recovered from 12 for 3 to make 282 against Middlesex at Lord's, still way off their target of 426. Gerard Brophy was the main contributor, with 81. Middlesex's openers Sven Koenig and Ben Hutton then shared a partnership of 82 and they finished the day on 167 for 3, a lead of 310 runs.

In the second division, Durham were set a daunting task at the Riverside when Leicestershire moved to 508 all out after resuming on 462 for 7. Durham, who hope to climb above Derbyshire (who lost on Friday) lost their openers to Ottis Gibson. Gavin Hamilton was the mainstay of their second innings, making 53 before falling lbw to Gibson. They finished the day 280 all out.

Yorkshire lost three quick wickets after progressing to 161 without loss against Somerset at Taunton. Joe Sayers was the first to fall when he was bowled by Andy Caddick for 62 before Philip Jaques became Caddick's second victim on 95. The visitors reached 276 for 5 before rain stopped play.

Nottinghamshire rallied after being reduced to 77 for 4 by Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens. Anurag Singh was unbeaten on 42 but received precious little support. Mark Ealham made a useful 30 as the visitors compiled 165 for 6 before play was abandoned for the day.

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