Thursday, 18 September 2014, 10:04am
Rampant Rushworth seals Durham win
A contest without wider significance - Northants have been booked for a return to Division Two for many weeks and Durham are safe - was lit up as Rushworth took the first eight wickets to fall in the hapless visitors' 83 all out in reply to 392.
The 28-year-old seamer's designs on a rare all-10 feat were dashed only when Ben Stokes intervened with the wicket of Maurice Chambers.
Stokes then struck first when Northants followed on. But Rushworth, who had finished with a career-best nine for 52 in the first innings, soon clicked into gear again to take his match haul to a club record 15 for 95.
Northants, for whom Neil Wagner (five for 104) and Azharullah (four for 95) had picked up another wicket each first thing, were bowled out twice in 40.2 overs - for 90 second time round, to lose by an innings and 219 runs in a match which suffered a first-day washout.
Middlesex are sure to have work left to do against fellow strugglers Lancashire at Old Trafford next week to avoid accompanying Northants on the way down.
Much-needed defiance from Eoin Morgan (82) and Toby Roland-Jones, with a career-best 77 in an eighth-wicket stand of 130, helped the Londoners eke out an improbable batting point as they turned 61 for seven into 223 all out against Somerset at Taunton.
Middlesex still found themselves following on 300 runs behind, after Jack Leach and Alfonso Thomas shared six wickets, but they then closed on 140 for one second time round after Chris Rogers (97no) put on an unbroken 126 with Dawid Malan.
They may still need forecast help from the weather to close out a draw on Thursday and therefore carry a buffer of 19 rather than 14 points into their relegation shoot-out in Manchester.
There is likely to be less drama on the final day at Trent Bridge, where Nottinghamshire's chances are far from obvious of conjuring the win they need over Sussex to stand any chance of deposing Warwickshire as championship runners-up.
James Taylor added 25 to his overnight 101 as Notts reached 413 all out, for a first-innings lead of 22, despite four wickets each for seamers Steve Magoffin and Lewis Hatchett.
Notts did not top 400 quickly enough for a precious final batting point, though - and Sussex opener Chris Nash then took his match aggregate to 263 and shared a second-wicket stand of 152 with Ed Joyce (115no) as the visitors racked up 244 for three in only 45.3 overs.
Joyce reached the seventh championship hundred of his prolific summer at almost a run-a-ball, with 11 fours and two sixes, off a mostly frontline attack before bad light brought a slightly early close.
In Division Two, promotion contenders Hampshire had to follow on despite the skill and tenacity of Sean Ervine (121) against Kent at the Ageas Bowl.
James Vince could turn his overnight 64 into only 70, and the hosts stumbled to 253 for nine.
But number seven Ervine counter-attacked in a 98-run 10th-wicket stand with James Tomlinson as Hampshire scrambled a fourth batting point yet still fell just short of the follow-on mark as off-spinners James Tredwell and Adam Riley shared seven wickets - at a cost of 226 runs - and Ervine hit 12 fours and four sixes.
At their second attempt, Hampshire closed on 110 for one thanks principally to Will Smith (66no), but will have to bat well again on Thursday to earn a stalemate for extra breathing space as they and Essex vie for second place behind Worcestershire.
Opener Billy Godleman (104no) and India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (90no) helped Derbyshire seal an eight-wicket win over Surrey at The Oval.
The visitors were set 251 to win and achieved the task with more than a day to spare after Godleman put on 94 for the first wicket with Ben Slater and then an unbroken 154 with Pujara.
Godleman hit nine fours and a six from 183 balls.
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Chris Rushworth's astounding match figures of 15 for 95 were the best in the County Championship for 14 years