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Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Northants head for drop as Murali fires Lancs

Published: Saturday, September 22, 2001, 1:24 [IST]
 
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London: Somerset guaranteed themselves runners-up spot in Division One its highest placing ever on Friday in its match against Northamptonshire after moving from 224 for two overnight to 650 all out.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Keith Parsons smashed 139 to leave Northamptonshire all but relegated as relegation-rivals Lancashire saw a crucial contribution from Muthiah Muralitharan all but save their First Division skins.Making his first appearance since June following international duty with Sri Lanka he turned in figures of five for 130 to dismiss Kent for 377, so earning three bowling points. A draw for Lancashire will be enough to relegate Northamptonshire instead - unless the latter get a freak win at Somerset.England's Mark Butcher hit an unbeaten 215 as Surrey took charge of its Division One clash with Glamorgan at Cardiff. The left-hander was at his flowing best as the hosts dominated the third day, compiling 572 for three, an imposing lead of 314 runs.Champions Yorkshire's game against Essex hangs in the balance and lies poised for an exciting finish at Scarborough after home skipper David Byas declared to leave the visitors with a lead of 146. At the end of the third day it was 48 for three in its second innings, an overall lead of 194, setting up the probability of a last-day run-chase if Essex is not bowled out.England's Matthew Hoggard, whose season has been disrupted by injury, regained something like his best form to hold Yorkshire's attack together and finish with career-best figures of six for 51 as Essex was bowled out for 250.

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