Somerset and Essex win to keep in touch with County Championship leaders Surrey

Somerset and Essex both kept in touch with Vitality County Championship Division One leaders Surrey after claiming victories during the latest round of matches.

Matt Renshaw led the way for Somerset as they saw off Kent by eight wickets at Taunton.

Renshaw hit an unbeaten 82 in Somerset’s commanding chase of 189 to win, with Andrew Umeed compiling 73 not out as Somerset claimed a maximum 24 points to move within 18 of the leaders.

Joe Denly had earlier taken Kent’s second innings total past 500 with 67 off 129 balls, helped by Grant Stewart’s 37.

Essex were indebted to Jordan Cox and Matt Critchley for successfully chasing a target of 338 to beat Warwickshire at Chelmsford.

Cox hit 112 and Critchley was left on 99 not out as they compiled an Essex record fifth-wicket partnership of 176 against Warwickshire.

Simon Harmer hit the winning runs just before lunch as Essex triumphed by four wickets to hold third place, four points behind Somerset.

Hampshire also finished things off during the morning session, claiming a five-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Chasing 169, Hampshire began the day needing 85 with five wickets left, although that was effectively four after Tom Prest suffered a broken shoulder while fielding on day one.

But Fletcha Middleton and James Fuller compiled an unbroken match-winning partnership of 127 in Hampshire’s first victory of the season.

George Balderson was the star performer for Lancashire in a 60-run win against Durham at Blackpool, halting an unlikely victory bid by the visitors.

Chasing 475 for victory, Ollie Robinson’s career-best 171 kept Durham in contention, while David Bedingham also hit a century in a fourth-wicket stand of 216.

But Balderson’s new-ball burst saw Durham slip from 380 for five to 383 for eight, before he wrapped up the innings to finish with four for 52.

In Division Two, Middlesex claimed a thrilling two-wicket win against Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens thanks to an unbroken stand of 52 between Tom Helm and Jack Davies.

It meant that Middlesex reached their victory target of 213 after being pinned on the back foot by an inspired spell of bowling from Mason Crane.

Crane sparked a collapse of four wickets falling for 15 runs – he finished with figures of five for 99 – before Helm and Davies dragged Middlesex over the line.

Northamptonshire were frustrated by Anuj Dal as they had to settle for a draw at Derbyshire.

The visitors were on course for a first win of the season at tea when Derbyshire crumbled to 149 for seven chasing an improbable 371 for victory, but Dal’s unbeaten 31 from 139 balls denied them.

Zak Chappell played a big part with 72 in a stand of 108 in 32 overs with Dal and, although Rob Keogh took five for 62 with his off-spin, Derbyshire clung on to close on 261 for nine.

Half-centuries from Rishi Patel, Lewis Hill, Peter Handscomb and Rehan Ahmed saw Leicestershire secure a hard-fought draw after being asked to follow on against Gloucestershire at Grace Road.