Somerset hopes fade after stalemate

County round-up
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The Independent Online

Somerset's chance of winning the County Championship for the first time all but disappeared in the time it took for the Durham captain, Phil Mustard, to decline the terms offered by opposite number Marcus Trescothick to set up a positive finish to their rain-wrecked match at Taunton.

Only a win would have kept alive Somerset's hopes yet after the loss of yesterday's morning in addition to two days completely washed out there was little room to manoeuvre and the idea of chasing 288 to win from two sessions after a double forfeit of innings did not appeal to Durham.

Consequently, Somerset continued the first innings started on Tuesday until they had collected the maximum five batting points before declaring at 400 for 6, with Craig Kieswetter last man out for 75. Durham made 37 for 0 before the teams shook hands on a draw.

Essex's dwindling First Division survival hopes did not improve in the relegation battle at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire's 155 all out on day three was enough to secure a first-innings lead of 41.

In Division Two, the first day of the top-two clash between Sussex and Glamorgan at Hove was abandoned because of a wet outfield.