Yorkshire close in on retaining their LV= County Championship title

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Yorkshire moved closer to retaining the LV= County Championship title after wrapping up victory over Somerset by an innings and 126 runs early on day three at Headingley.

The away side began Thursday on 44 for two in their second innings, 237 runs in arrears.

And in the 10th over of the day the Division One leaders began to claim the remaining wickets they needed, with James Hildreth (57) the only man at the crease able to accumulate much of a knock.


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Ryan Sidebottom and Steven Patterson finished the innings with three wickets apiece for 32 and 43 respectively as Somerset were bowled out for 155 before lunch.

If Yorkshire avoid defeat at Lord's against Middlesex next time out, the title will be staying in the White Rose county.

Second-placed Middlesex finished Thursday trailing by 17 runs to hosts Warwickshire, who were at 224 for eight in their first innings.

Warwickshire had looked in trouble at 86 for six but the flow of wickets - in which Tim Murtagh took four for 41 - was subsequently stemmed as top-scorer Tim Ambrose ended up on 84 not out.

Hampshire climbed off the foot of Division One table after beating Durham by seven wickets with a day to spare at Chester-le-Street.

Fidel Edwards took four for 43 as Durham's second innings were restricted to 200 all out, and Hampshire skipper James Vince then guided his team to their target of 163 with an unbeaten 76.

In the day's other Division One contest, Luke Wright posted an unbeaten 226 as Sussex took firm control at Worcestershire.

The first double-century of Wright's career - in which he survived three dropped chances and notched 28 fours and seven sixes - was the centre-piece of Sussex's 510 for five declared in response to 210. And, with their opponents then struggling on 59 for three at close, the visitors look very much on course for victory.

In Division Two, Lancashire went from dreaming of promotion to trying to stave off an innings defeat in their match at Kent.

The top-of-the-table visitors resumed their first innings targeting the score of 350 required to clinch the four batting bonus points that would have sealed their return to the top flight.

But they were subsequently bowled out for 259, well short of avoiding the follow-on, and made a poor start to their second innings, finishing the day on 47 for two, which means they trail Kent by 264.

Second-placed Surrey bossed the third day's play at home against Derbyshire as they made a first-innings total of 560 all out to establish a 247-run lead.

Zafar Ansari (106) scored the third first-class hundred of career and there were also healthy batting contributions from Gary Wilson (72) and James Burke (79), while Derbyshire's Wes Durston claimed six for 113 with the ball.

Gloucestershire still needed 17 runs with two wickets remaining to avoid the risk of following on when bad light ended play early on the third day of their match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

At the close of play the visitors were 249 for eight in reply to 415, Chris Dent having made 73 before becoming one of Rob Taylor's three victims in the space of as many overs.

The day's other match saw hosts Essex close on 55 for one in their second innings for a lead of 140 runs over Northamptonshire, who they earlier had bowled out for 275.

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