White Rose on scent of sweet success

Yorkshire took another assured step towards their first County Championship title since 1968 by completing the formality of bowling out Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Yorkshire took another assured step towards their first County Championship title since 1968 by completing the formality of bowling out Leicestershire at Grace Road.

They have won the compet-ition 30 times – 12 more than their nearest rivals, the current holders Surrey – and with a wealth of talent they have promised to deliver for several seasons before faltering.

The hosts resumed on 245 for 7, 288 runs adrift, and after skipper Vince Wells fell for 133 they succumbed on 370, Phil DeFreitas battling away for 97.

Essex seem doomed to relegation after the game against fellow strugglers Glamorgan at Cardiff was rained off without any play being possible.

Two others hovering above the drop zone drew at Old Trafford. Lancashire declared on 243 for 7 to set Northamptonshire 349 to win, captain John Crawley adding 68 to his first-innings 280 and Joe Scu-deri making 61 not out. The visitors managed 13 for 1.

Sussex took advantage of Middlesex's week off and increased their lead at the top of Division Two by beating Derbyshire at Derby. The latter's batting has been poor and they were skittled out for 117 with the veteran seamer Mark Robinson grabbing 5 for 38.

By polishing off Sussex for 230 they gave themselves a target of 246. One bright pros-pect, Luke Sutton, who carried his bat for 140 in the first innings, almost repeated the feat as he was last man out for 54.

Worcestershire called a halt on 233 for 2 against Warwick-shire at Edgbaston, Phil Weston making an unbeaten 102 of 230 balls with 14 fours and a six and Vikram Solanki 56. The home side, seeking 311 to stay in touch with the leaders, slipped to 77 for 4.

Gloucestershire's ambitions were thwarted by rain as Nottinghamshire added nine runs to their overnight 139 for 9 at Bristol, still 138 runs awry. At Chester-le-Street Hampshire reached 254 for 7 in reply to Durham's 323, Dimitri Mascar-enhas contributing 75 not out.

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