Michael Vaughan would have been desperate to improve on the ignominy of his first innings duck against Leeds/Bradford University when he went out to bat yesterday at Headingley. That the improvement was in the shape of just two runs would hardly have had the England captain skipping back to the Yorkshire dressing-room, what with the Test series against New Zealand looming and his form rusty.
Vaughan’s 23-ball stay was brought to an end when his stumps were knocked over by 20-year-old Michael Lambert, who usually plies his trade for Lancashire’s Second XI.
No such travails for Graeme Hick, who hit his 135th first-class ton to put Worcestershire in charge of the Championship second division match with Warwickshire. Hick made 101 before Vikram Solanki, who also hit a century in an imposing 447 for 7, set the home side 482. Spinner Gareth Batty then claimed the wickets of Darren Maddy (nine) and Jonathan Trott (nought) as Hick took two catches while Kabir Ali removed Ian Westwood (nine) to put the visitors firmly in control.
Nottinghamshire are poised to mark their return to the First Division with victory over Kent at Canterbury. Notts need just 22 to win having dismissed the home side for 293 in their second innings, Azhar Mahmood hitingt 116 to help Kent recover from 85 for.
Resuming on 14 without loss in response to Notts' declaration at 434 for nine, Martin van Jaarsveld's 79 offered the only early resistance as Darren Pattinson and Paul Franks ran through the top order.
Mahmood though dug in and brought up his century in 126 balls which included 14 fours and three sixes before he was caught by Charlie Shreck off England spinner Graeme Swann.
The remainder of Kent's tail offered little resistance to leave Notts.
In Division Two a rain-shortened day in Bristol saw Gloucestershire firmly in control and they now require 145 runs on the fourth day to secure an opening victory against Derbyshire. Wicketkeeper Steve Adshead took five second-innings catches to help dismiss the visitors for 361, James Pipe hitting an impressive 62. Needing 172 to win, Gloucestershire were 27 for one when rain and bad light ended play with Craig Spearman and Hamish Marshall at the crease.
Andrew Strauss failed with the bat for the second time in the match as Middlesex battled to avoid defeat against Leicestershire at Grace Road. The England opener was bowled for seven by Nadeem Malik after facing only 10 deliveries in Middlesex's second innings after they had conceded a 93-run lead to the home side.
Leicestershire made 405 with South African Hylton Ackerman scoring 140 and despite an unbeaten 49 from Owais Shah, Middlesex slipped to 112 for five by the close, giving them a lead of 19 runs.
David Masters took three Northamptonshire wickets to help Essex move a step closer to an opening victory as the visitors finished on 42 for four at stumps.
Masters, on his Essex debut following his move from Leicestershire, bowled Stephen Peters for 21 before he trapped Riki Wessels (nought) and David Sales (five) lbw to finish the day with figures of 11-0-7-11-3.
Northants remain 181 runs adrift after Essex had declared on 503 for five thanks largely to 150 from Ravi Bopara and a superb 171 from Jason Gallian.