Top three victorious

Alex Hales' century helped Nottinghamshire keep the pressure on leaders Yorkshire

Alex Hales' century helped Nottinghamshire keep the pressure on leaders Yorkshire

First published in National Sport News © by

The battle at the top of the LV= County Championship intensified on Monday as Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire both completed victories and Warwickshire saw off Somerset to keep their hopes alive at the expense of their opponents.

Yorkshire completed a quick run chase under threatening skies to take a crucial victory over Sussex at Scarborough by nine wickets.

That saw them regain top spot in Division One, briefly held by Nottinghamshire after their five-wicket success over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

After Yorkshire posted a massive 493 in their first innings, Luke Wright had been the biggest threat to their hopes of victory at North Marine Road, with his 113 a big reason they were forced to bat again.

Sussex were bowled out for 230, leaving Yorkshire with 39 overs in which to make 106, a target they reached in a little over half of those overs with one eye on the gathering clouds.

Alex Lees made 46 before being caught by Lewis Hatchett, while fellow opener Adam Lyth made it to the close on 39 while Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 15.

Yorkshire took the maximum 24 points from the match, putting them six clear of Nottinghamshire who were helped to victory over rock-bottom Northants by a century from Alex Hales.

A mighty six from Hales took him to 102 not out and lifted Notts to their victory target of 211 with more than a session to spare on the final day, and Hales' day only got better as he was included in England's squad for the upcoming one-day international series against India.

The match at Taunton was a battle simply to stay in the race, and it went Warwickshire's way as they completed victory by 215 runs, bowling Somerset out for 188 in their second innings.

Jeetan Patel and Recordo Gordon took four wickets each in a win that leaves Warwickshire 21 points off Yorkshire's pace, with Somerset now 35 back.

In the battle at the bottom, Lancashire completed a remarkable victory over fellow strugglers Durham, winning by one wicket in a huge result in the relegation scrap.

Lancashire were set a target of 107 for victory after bowling Durham out for 187, but ran into major trouble as they were reduced to 36 for five after a top-order collapse.

It only got a little better as the Durham bowlers feasted - John Hastings took four for 40 and Ben Stokes had three for 25, but from 90 for nine, Tom Smith (35no) and Simon Kerrigan (14no) held their nerve to steer Lancs home.

In Division Two, Hampshire landed their fifth win of the campaign and bolstered their promotion hopes by sweeping Kent aside by 196 runs in Canterbury.

The hosts had resumed on 95 for two, still 406 runs shy of victory, and three morning wickets only made defeat inevitable.

Darren Stevens put up some resistance, clubbing three sixes off the slow left-arm spin of Liam Dawson en route to 74, but he and Kent could only hold out so long.

Surrey ran out of time in their bid to beat Leicestershire, who were 232 for six at the close, still more than 150 runs behind.

They could thank an excellent partnership between Rob Taylor (40no) and Jigar Naik (42no) for frustrating Surrey.

Monty Panesar completed match figures of 11 for 168 as Essex eased to their fourth win of the season as they beat Glamorgan by 63 runs on the final morning at Swansea.

The victory keeps up Essex's hopes of getting into the fight for promotion, while it was Glamorgan's fourth straight defeat.

Glamorgan had required 111 to win with only two wickets remaining when they resumed on 237 for eight, and Essex swiftly wrapped things up on the fourth morning with Panesar making Graham Wagg his sixth victim of the innings before Tom Westley removed Michael Hogan to end the match.

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