Ben Stokes' growing reputation was further enhanced yesterday when the Durham teenager hit his second century of the season to deny Somerset victory at Taunton.
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The 19-year-old scored 120 as Durham, who followed on after being 373 adrift on first innings, batted throughout the final day losing just three wickets. Resuming 146 behind the overnight pair, Stokes and Dale Benkenstein, added 157 to take their fourth-wicket stand to 170 before Stokes was bowled by Charl Willoughby, his hundred having come up in 113 balls. Benkenstein, batting more sedately, then fell for 66 but Durham continued to resist with stumps drawn at 489 for 6, 116 ahead.
At Derby rain rescued Essex from defeat with Derbyshire 21 runs from victory. Wes Durston was left unbeaten on 90 still chasing an elusive first century of the season after previously being dismissed for 96 and 95 this summer. Having taken the last four Essex wickets for 49 in the morning Derbyshire were set 223 to win. When David Masters grabbed three quick wickets to reduce the hosts to 26 for 3 Essex scented success, but Dursten masterminded a series of partnerships to bring Derbyshire in sight of victory. Then the weather intervened.
Despite claiming the extra half-hour Northamptonshire were forced to stay another night in Bristol by Gloucestershire after being held up by Will Gidman, but they may still wrap up victory early enough to get home and watch the FA Cup final. Gidman is 76 not out but is running out of partners as he seeks to avoid an innings defeat. Gloucestershire still require 22 runs to make Northants bat again with two wickets left. Jack Brooks has taken 3 for 43 to bring his match figures to 7 for 97.
Rain affected First Division matches at Edgbaston, where Worcestershire, 36-3, need a further 292 to defeat Warwickshire, and Leeds. Ajmal Shazad took 5 for 65 against Hampshire as Yorkshire took a 123-run first innings lead since extended to 185 for the loss of three wickets.
Kevin Pietersen top-scored for Surrey with 48 at Fenners but the stand-in captain was unable to prevent an embarrassing defeat to Cambridge MCCU. Surrey did manage to make the students bat again, but only just, Cambridge needing just three balls to knock off the four runs required. Pietersen at least avoided another dismissal to a left-arm spinner, he was bowled by right-arm medium pacer Robert Woolley.