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Cricket news - Harmer's stunning 9-fer puts Essex in command

Simon Harmer picked all the seven wickets to fall on Day 3

Simon Harmer picked all the seven wickets to fall on Day 3

Group 1

Simon Harmer's stunning nine-wicket haul helped Essex take complete control of their clash against Derbyshire. Harmer ripped through the Derbyshire lineup that was already in tatters by stumps on day 2 at 35/3. The offspinner picked all seven wickets to fall on the third day as Derbyshire folded for just 146. Having fetched a massive 266-run lead, Essex then enforced a follow-on and struck immediately when James Porter knocked over Luis Reece for a duck. However, no further damage was done as Derbyshire reached stumps at 97/1. They will still need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to avoid defeat on the final day.

A strong batting performance from Durham on the third day put themselves in pole position to clinch a win over Worcestershire. A patient century from Will Young and an unbeaten hundred from Jack Burnham helped them extend their lead but it was the stunning unbeaten 57-ball 86 from Ned Eckersley that truly put them in the driving seat. It helped them set Worcester an almost probable 423 to win the contest. Worcestershire did bat out 14 overs to race to 60 for no loss but with 362 more runs to defend, Durham will fancy their chances of pulling off a win.

Group 2

After a washed out opening day, and 59 overs on the second day, just nine overs were possible on Day 3 as rain-hampered proceedings in Taunton. Resuming the day on 191 for 4, Surrey just about crossed the 200-run mark to get to 206/4 before stumps were eventually drawn due to heavy rain.

In London, things moved at a rapid pace. Middlesex were bowled out for 172 in their first innings and had Hampshire in early trouble. However, they made a grand recovery, led by James Vine (62) and Keith Barker (84), to finish with a 36-run lead. However, an inspired bowling performance on the third day led by Kyle Abbott's five-wicket haul, to take his tally to 11 wickets for the game after a five-for in the first innings, helped bowl out Middlesex for a measly 101, leaving them with just 65 to get for victory. They were on course with 23/0, with just another 43 to get, but rain halted play. Only just... play resumed soon enough and although Hampshire lost three wickets, they picked up a seven-wicket win in the end.

Group 3

On a day where over two sessions were washed out thus allowing only 24 overs of play, the Kent batsmen stretched their position of strength with a 106-run lead at stumps with seven wickets in hand, a far cry from their 145 all-out in the first innings. Jack Leaning, batted through the day for a patient half-century. Zak Crawley, just when he was looking good for a century, fell to Jack Carlson for 85, in what was the only happy moment for Sussex in the entire day.

Although the day started off in splendid fashion for Glamorgan with Michael Neser continuing his golden run with the ball to get himself another five-wicket haul, and further had Yorkshire at 116 for 8 at one stage, a stunning 113-run stand for the ninth wicket between Joe Root and Steven Patterson snatched away all the advantage rather rudely. Root, who fell one run short of a much deserved century, found a solid partner in Patterson, who matched him stroke for stroke, thus helping the visitors to a vital 81-run lead in the scheme of things. The hosts were then rocked early in their second innings, getting reduced to 43 for 3, before David Lloyd and Kiran Carlson steadied the ship and took them into the lead by the close of play.