Essex in trouble in spite of Law~~s superb 153

Published: Monday, May 28, 2001, 18:23 [IST]
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London: Australia batsman Stuart Law completed a magnificent 153 against county champions Surrey on Sunday but Essex was still in trouble after the third day's play at The Oval. Law, 132 not out overnight, was last man out when he was caught and bowled by England leg spinner Ian Salisbury, Essex making 300. Half centuries from England batsmen Mark Butcher (72) and Mark Ramprakash (52) enabled Surrey to declare its second innings at 206 for five. Essex, left with a day and a quarter to make 404 to win or bat out to save the game, was 73 for nought at the close. Meanwhile at Headingley fast bowler Matthew Hoggard celebrated his recall to the England Test squad by taking five for 52 as Yorkshire beat Northamptonshire by four wickets to move to the top of the First Division. There was no play Sunday in the day's other top-flight match between Kent and Glamorgan. In the Second Division Nottinghamshire's Kevin Pietersen continued to hammer the Middlesex attack. His 65 not out in the second innings, followed the South African's 165 not out first time around. Australia's Greg Blewett made 76 in a second innings total of 252 for eight declared, former England left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell taking five for 61. Middlesex made 370 in its first innings and at the close at Lord's the home side was nine without loss needing 349 to win on the final day. Resuming on 273 for six, it needed a solid effort from the tail to keep Nottinghamshire in its sights, after the visitors amassed 467 in their first innings. Worcestershire for whom Australia's Ashes absentee Andy Bichel made 76 in the first innings, declared on 256 for eight in the second innings. Gloucestershire, bowled out for 175 first time around was in dire straits at Bristol, 35 for three at the close needing 408 to win. At Derby, England left-arm quick Alan Mullally took five for 52, including a spell of three wickets in four balls, as Hampshire took control, Derbyshire 267 all out in reply to the visitors 464. All his final three victims were caught at second slip by Neil Johnson and the Zimbabwean claimed two more as Derbyshire struggled to 69 for four, still 98 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat. Sussex was 10 runs ahead with four wickets in hand against Warwickshire at Hove. Home hopes of avoiding defeat rest with Richard Montgomerie (96 not out) in a total of 151 for six after Sussex was bowled out for 208, West Indies' Vasbert Drakes taking three for 45. In the only National League match played, Durham defeated Lancashire by 24 runs at The Riverside to move to the top of the Second Division. Lancashire's Sri Lanka off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan took two for 24 from his nine overs but was outshone by Durham opposite number Nicky Phillips (four for 21). Durham's 211 for six was far from impregnable and Lancashire openers Mike Atherton (62) and Glen Chapple (52) got the visitors off to a sound start. But once Phillips dismissed Chapple, Lancashire struggled.

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