catch one short

Frizzell County Championship Division One in 2005


The table, showing all completed matches is as follows:

2005 County Championship - Division One
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 16 9 4 3 0 94 236
2 Hampshire 16 9 4 3 0.5 92 233.5
3 Sussex 16 7 6 3 0 102 224
4 Warwickshire 16 8 3 5 0.5 86 209.5
5 Kent 16 6 7 3 8.5 99 202.5
6 Middlesex 16 4 7 5 0.5 98 181.5
7 Surrey 16 4 9 3 8.5 97 180.5
8 Gloucestershire 16 1 5 10 2 72 104
9 Glamorgan 16 1 1 14 0 71 88.5

Links to detailed coverage of the 2005 season

Match details

Round one

Hampshire v Gloucestershire (13-16 April)

Hampshire (17pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by 48 runs

Hampshire won the toss and elected to bat. There were 1,200 at the Rose Bowl to watch Simon Katich flawless 72 not out, as he was the only one able to cope with the conditions as Hampshire were all out for 197 before tea. Katich's innings was one of defence coupled with the odd drive, hook and pull. Hampshire's meagre total suggests they miss Kevin Pietersen, who performed so well for England in the one-dayers against Zimbabwe and South Africa over the winter. Pietersen said of his foot injury, "If I got a ball on my foot or I slipped I could be out for six to eight weeks. It's a bit tender and it's just a case of biding my time," he said. However, they did have to face good, fast-medium-pace bowling from Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire fared well in reply, and Shane Warne brought himself into the attack after only 18 overs. He took Craig Spearman's wicket when Spearman tried to sweep him, but Gloucestershire were sitting pretty at close on 118 for 2, 79 behind with 8 first innings wickets remaining.

On the second day, Hampshire's bowlers, led by Warne, battled hard to get them back into the game. Except for Jon Lewis, who scored 40 off 61 balls batting at number ten, no-one after the first three Gloucester batsmen scored more than ten. Their first innings ended for 221, just 24 ahead. Hampshire also struggled, and scored only 94 for their first 6 wickets. Warne and Sean Ervine survived the last six overs to push the score to 111 for 6 at close.

The third day saw yet another change in fortunes, which just about left Hampshire on top. The bowlers dominated the first two days, but the start of the third day was dominated by Hampshire's bowlers batting. Warne increased his score to 62, Chris Tremlett got 64 and Richard Logan 28 through aggressive batting as Hampshire closed their second innings on 275. This left Gloucestershire a challenging target of 252. Spearman and Phil Weston then put on 129 for the first wicket, only for five wickets to fall in quick succession before bad light stopped play, with the visitors on 149 for 5, needing 103 for victory.

It took only 18.4 overs on the fourth day for the match to be settled. With Billy Taylor finishing on 6 for 45 as Gloucester were all out for 203. After the game Hampshire's captain, Shane Warne, said, "We believe we can win from any position and it's so important to win your first few games. It was a tremendous team effort and everyone pulled their weight. This is the type of game you never forget. We found ourselves behind the eight ball at the start of every day but I always felt we were in with a chance if we could remove their openers." Cricinfo scorecard

Surrey v Sussex (13-16 April)

Surrey (12pts) drew with Sussex (9pts)

Sussex won the toss at the Oval and elected to bat. Mark Ramprakash captained Surrey as Mark Butcher has still not recovered from the injury that saw him miss England's winter tour. Only 49 overs could be bowled on the first day, as rain delayed the start till after lunch, and bad light brought an early conclusion. Cloud cover helped the bowlers, but Sussex, thanks to Michael Yardy's 44 not out, finished the day on 171 for 4. The second day saw 61 overs. Yardy, again under cloud-covered skies, progressed to 111, which will have gone a long way to helping him cement a regular first team place. Rikki Clarke, who took 4 for 91, appears a yard quicker than last season, and to have improved after his poor season last year. Sussex finished the second day on 370, and Surrey on 6 for 1.

Only 13.3 overs were possible on a rain-affected third day, as Surrey moved to 33 for 1, with a draw a virtual certainty. The day was enlivened by the sight of a fox on top of one of the famous gasholders. It presumably went onto the top when the gasholder was low, and was trapped as the level rose. On the fourth day, Surrey's stand-in captain Ramprakash made an impressive 152, as Surrey elected to prolong their first innings until they reached 402 for 5 declared, to claim maximum batting points. The game ended there as a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Glamorgan (13-16 April)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (1pt) by an innings and 43 runs

Glamorgan won the toss at a cold Edgbaston and chose to bat. The pitch hade been roughed up to encourage turn for the benefit of Ashley Giles. The England selectors will have been pleased that he made the most of it, taking 6 for 44, the third-best figures of his career. First, however, Matthew Elliott, Glamorgan's Australian batsman scored 84 to take his team to a comfortable looking 157 for 3. However, Glamorgan then lost their final seven wickets for just 41 runs. Warwickshire's catching was excellent, as they restricted their opposition to 198 off 63.3 overs, two short of their first bonus point. Nick Knight and Mark Wagh then saw Warwickshire through to 68 for no loss, before bad light stopped play.

After losing Knight and Wagh with only 4 added to the overnight score, the Champion county showed their class. After the start of the day, the pitch calmed down, and England hopeful, Ian Bell, who scored 96, and Michael Powell put on 153 for the fourth wicket. Dougie Brown then helped himself to a half-century being unbeaten on 85 at close, with Powell on 144 not out and Warwickshire on 415 for 4, 217 ahead. Alex Wharf and Simon Jones bowled enthusiastically, but without much to show for it.

The bat dominated on a cold third day, with runs coming at around 5 an over, though this was aided by there being short boundaries. This allowed 362 runs to be scored, even though almost all the third session was lost to bad light. In the morning, Warwickshire's runs flowed freely. Although Powell only add 2, Brown moved on to 122, and Heath Streak had time to score 41 not out before Warwickshire declared on 564 for 8, 366 ahead. Elliott and David Hemp put on 162 for the second wicket. However, Matthew Maynard went for a duck, leaving Glamorgan on 213 for 4 at close.

On the fourth day, Robert Croft and Darren Thomas held Warwickshire briefly at bay with a partnership of 75, but this wasn't enough as Glamorgan succumbed for 323. Warwickshire captain, Nick Knight, said, "Once they were bowled out for 198 on that pitch they were always going to struggle. They then put down three catches, which proved to be decisive. We had a bit of luck so we are not going to start going around saying that we are going to win the Championship just because we have won one match." John Derrick, Glamorgan's coach, said, "Although we batted much better second time around, we made it difficult for ourselves by not scoring enough first innings runs. Warwickshire showed what playing pressure cricket is all about. They bowled with a lot of discipline. They piled up a big score to make sure that we didn't get back into the game." (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 16 April

County Championship - Division One at 16 April 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Warwickshire 1 1 0 0 0 8 22
2 Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 3 17
3 Surrey 1 0 1 0 0 8 12
4 Sussex 1 0 1 0 0 5 9
5 Gloucestershire 1 0 0 1 0 4 4
6 Glamorgan 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
7 Kent 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Middlesex 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Nottinghamshire 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Round two

Kent v Warwickshire (20-23 April)

Kent (10pts) drew with Warwickshire (10pts)

The first day at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury saw Warwickshire and England left arm spin bowler Ashley Giles take 5 for 86, and Martin van Jaarsveld 118 as Kent finished on 342 for 9. At the end of a second day, Kent took their score to 347. Nick Knight, who scored 100, and Ian Bell, with 63, got Warwickshire off to a good start. But from 179 for 1, Min Patel and Amjad Khan bowled Kent into the match. Warwickshire finished the day on 288 for 7 off 100 overs.

On the third day, Warwickshire were soon finished off for 309, 38 behind Kent. The Dane Khan did the brunt of the damage, finishing with on 6 for 73. Then van Jaarsveld and David Fulton played with great determination and put together their second century stand of the game with 155. At close, Kent were 308 for 6, 346 ahead, and they declared overnight.

On a fourth-day pitch favouring the spinners, Warwickshire found themselves in deep trouble on 73 for 5. If Kent were to finish champions, they really should have won from that position, but Tony Frost and Alex Loudon had different ideas when they batted throughout the whole afternoon session. After tea, Patel took three quick wickets, and Kent again looked on course for the win. But Frost, who scored 82, survived throughout the entire evening session, and after the ninth wicket fell, last man Neil Warren survived for 15 balls to earn Warwickshire the draw. They were 233 for 9 at stumps. (BBC scorecard)

Middlesex v Nottinghamshire (20-23 April)

Middlesex (9pts) drew with Nottinghamshire (12pts)

The first day at Lord's saw Nottinghamshire, who were put in to bat, progress to 399 for 6, thanks to 117 not out from Australian David Hussey. Alan Richardson starred for Middlesex, taking 5 wickets on his county debut.

Nottinghamshire batted on to 546 all out on the second day, despite losing Hussey for just one more added run. Paul Franks scored a century, and Richardson increased his tally to 7 for 113. In response to this, Middlesex fared poorly, whilst fast-medium bowler Greg Smith removed the top order. The home side finished on 167 for 6, but were rescued on the third day when Irishman Ed Joyce took his score up to 192. Middlesex finished on 345, 201 behind. Stephen Fleming chose not to enforce the follow-on, and amassed a lead of 413 when they declared on 212 for 5. Maybe the Notts bowlers were tired, but it seemed like negative play with rain predicted for the fourth day.

And the rain did come, with only 57 overs possible. Middlesex had progressed to 158 for 2 before play was abandoned, which suggested Notts might have struggled to win anyway. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Hampshire (20-23 April)

Sussex (9pts) drew with Hampshire (9pts)

Hampshire finished the first day on top at Hove. Sussex, despite a century from Michael Yardy, were all out for 252, with Chris Tremlett taking 6 for 44. In reply, the visitors reached 67 for 1. Only for the position to be reversed on the second day, as they were dismissed for 280, with James Kirtley claiming 4 and Robin Martin-Jenkins 3 wickets. Sussex finished on 101 for 2.

The game remained evenly poised on the third day, but with Sussex slightly in the lead, with rain predicted for the fourth. Sussex took their score on to 312, thereby setting a target of 285. Hampshire were on 89 for 3 at the end of day three. With rain predicted on the fourth day, the game could have gone any one of four ways. Kevin Pietersen (61), assisted by Sean Ervine (57), took the challenge to Sussex - and the game was always in the balance. When the eighth wicket fell, the score was on 256 for 8. And with 29 required off 34 balls, the game looked set for one of those exciting finishes that only the longer form of the game can provide. Disappointingly for the crowd, Hampshire captain Shane Warne ordered his batsmen to shut up shop. Sussex were unable to take the final two wickets, and on 267 for 8, the game was drawn. Hampshire finished the day second behind Warwickshire, but the ten points given up here had crucial repercussions later on in the season. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 23 April

County Championship - Division One at 23 April 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Warwickshire 2 1 1 0 0 14 32
2 Hampshire 2 1 1 0 0 8 26
3 Sussex 2 0 2 0 0 10 18
4 Nottinghamshire 1 0 1 0 0 8 12
4 Surrey 1 0 1 0 0 8 12
6 Kent 1 0 1 0 0 6 10
7 Middlesex 1 0 1 0 0 5 9
8 Gloucestershire 1 0 0 1 0 4 4
9 Glamorgan 1 0 0 1 0 1 1

Round three

Glamorgan v Surrey (27-30 April)

Surrey (18pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by five wickets

Glamorgan batted first at Cardiff, coming out finally at 2.30pm as rain delayed the start. Matthew Elliott was then dismissed first ball. It did get better for the Welsh side though, as Mark Wallace put on 86 from 107 and was still there at the close of play. Surrey probably had the best of the day, which ended with the Dragons on 238 for 9. However, it could have been a lot worse for Glamorgan, as David Hemp was dropped three times. Mohammad Akram got good rewards for his bowling, taking four wickets.

Glamorgan picked up 12 more runs to finish on 250. Then, on another rain affected day, Surrey moved to 162 for 4. The day's highlight was an innings by Mark Ramprakash, Surrey's stand-in captain, who became the second man still playing to pass 25,000 runs. He finished the day on 72 not out. The second day ended with Surrey on 162 for 4.

Ramprakash completed his century on the third day, but only Rikki Clarke (35) gave him any sort of support, and Surrey were bowled out for 248. Surrey had a two-run deficit to catch up with, but they did it, mainly thanks to Jimmy Ormond. Ormond swung his way to 7 for 63, helping Surrey on their way to victory. Ormond reduced Glamorgan to 15 for 2 by lunch and 87 for 7 in the 19th over. Glamorgan recovered, but only to 173, setting a target of 176. Surrey sped towards their target and were 122 for 4 off 26 overs at close, Ramprakash on 49.

It didn't take Surrey long on the final day to wrap up victory, and they only lost one wicket in the 10 overs it took. Ramprakash again was the mainstay of the innings and was not out for 68 when the winning runs came. (BBC scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Kent (27-30 April)

Gloucestershire (8pts) drew with Kent (11pts)

Play started at 4.30pm on the first day at Bristol. Kent progressed to 66 for 2 at close, with Robert Key (26) and Matthew Walker (22) the not out batsmen. On the second day, Key and Walker proceeded to their centuries. Key top-scored with 164, an innings which gave him a good shout for the No.3 spot in the England national team. When Walker was third man out with the score on 260, it precipitated a minor collapse, and Kent finished the second day on 339 for 6.

On the third day Kent lost their last four wickets in 40 minutes, finishing on 359. Gloucestershire, however, lost wickets steadily, and would have lost more had Kent not dropped four chances. Chris Taylor, the Gloucester captain, was the mainstay of the innings with a painstaking 66 from 173 balls. They finished the day on 208 for 7, 2 away from saving the follow-on, and most probably the match as well.

Gloucestershire added 40 runs on the last day, and then Kent batted out the day for a draw, finishing on 229 for 5 declared. Walker and Stevens had time to score half-centuries, and Geraint Jones had some useful batting practice in getting to 36 not out, but there was never much prospect of a result once the follow-on was saved. Kent captain David Fulton said, "If there had been any realistic chance of a result we would have been happy to go for it. But the pitch has just got flatter, and it was obvious we couldn't really hope to bowl them out quickly." (BBC scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Sussex (27-30 April)

Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Sussex (6pts) by ten wickets

Only 36.3 overs were possible on the first day at Trent Bridge. Sussex batted first and, despite losing 2 early wickets, were 116 for 2 at close, with Michael Yardy (38) and Murray Goodwin (33) the not out batsmen. Yardy went on to make a half-century, as did wicket-keeper Matthew Prior and Robin Martin-Jenkins, but no-one went further than 66 on the second day, as Sussex were dismissed for 379. Nottinghamshire progressed slowly, and were 32 for no loss off 15 overs at close.

The third day was all Nottinghamshire's. Jason Gallian made his highest score for the county, 199, while Stephen Fleming, who took over as captain from Gallian this season, made 111. Both were run out by precise throws from Ian Ward and Mushtaq Ahmed respectively. David Hussey (89) and Chris Read (45 not out) gave good support as Notts reached 488 for 6 at close.

On the fourth day, Nottinghamshire declared after 5.5 overs on 509 for 8, a lead of 130. If they were to win, they'd have to dismiss Sussex quickly. This they did. Ryan Sidebottom took 4 for 15 as Sussex were dismissed for 159, despite a two-hour 49 from Martin-Jenkins. Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian only needed 5.5 overs to knock off the 30 runs needed to win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Middlesex (27-30 April)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Middlesex (5pts) by seven wickets

Middlesex batted first at Edgbaston. Their Irish left-hander, Ed Joyce, was the anchor of the innings making 92 as he took his side from 56 for 4 to 253 for 7. He was assisted by a quick-fire half-century from Scott Styris, an innings somewhat out of pace with his team-mates' innings. They were finally all out for 298. Warwickshire lost 2 wickets in scoring 18 by the close.

Only 68 overs were possible on the second day. Ian Bell dominated, setting out his case for an England call-up, with 143 not out. He said, "If I was to play for England, I'd bat anywhere I was told to bat. Just to play would be great. I'm batting at three for Warwickshire and enjoying it. I know there’s some competition [for Test places] and there's a lot being talked about it. I've just got to concentrate on scoring as many runs as I can for Warwickshire." No other player scored so freely though, and Warwickshire ended the day on 277 for 6.

On the third day, England spin bowler Ashley Giles, who notched up 62, stayed with him. Bell was finally run out for a seven-hour 231 as Warwickshire closed on 430. Giles then starred with the ball, taking two wickets as Middlesex finished on 137 for 3 at stumps. On the fourth day, Giles tripled his tally to end with 6, as Middlesex faltered to 246 despite 63 from Joyce. That left Warwickshire needing only 115 to win, and despite Paul Hutchison taking two wickets, Bell led his team to a seven-wicket victory by scoring 47. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 30 April

County Championship - Division One at 30 April 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Warwickshire 3 2 1 0 0 22 54
2 Nottinghamshire 2 1 1 0 0 16 34
3 Surrey 2 1 1 0 0 12 30
4 Hampshire 2 1 1 0 0 8 26
5 Sussex 3 0 2 1 0 16 24
6 Kent 2 0 2 0 0 13 21
7 Middlesex 2 0 1 1 0 10 14
8 Gloucestershire 2 0 1 1 0 8 12
9 Glamorgan 2 0 0 2 0 6 6

Round four

Glamorgan v Gloucestershire (6-9 May)

Gloucestershire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (4pts) by 7 wickets

Gloucestershire batted first at Cardiff and didn't regret it. With the top four all making good contributions and the three first partnerships all accounting for more than fifty runs, Chris Taylor smashed his way to 176 off 185 balls with four sixes, letting himself loose after getting his century and hitting over 70 runs with the last 43 balls he faced. By stumps, Gloucestershire were 439 for 8, and well in control of the game. England ODI bowler Alex Wharf did the brunt of the bowling effort with 30.1 overs, getting Taylor out eventually, and finishing with three wickets for 127 as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 466 early on the second day.

Matthew Elliott and Ian Thomas started the reply well for the hosts Glamorgan, putting on 40 for the first wicket before Thomas departed, but the Gloucestershire seamers Jon Lewis and Alex Gidman utilised the conditions well to reduce Glamorgan to 48 for 4. Healthy and quick contributions from the lower order, led by wicketkeeper Mark Wallace, who made a half-century to lift Glamorgan to a slightly respectable 239. Following on, Glamorgan played more sensibly, and stumps were drawn when Glamorgan lost their first wicket of their second innings, Ian Thomas for 40.

The third day, however, was the day of the spinners. After Matt Elliott (123), David Hemp (57) and Michael Powell (39) lifted Glamorgan to 274 for 2 and a lead of 47, Sri Lankan leg-spinner Upul Chandana and all-rounder Ian Fisher shared the last eight wickets between them for 71 runs, Chandana finishing with five for 117 and Fisher with four for 89, and resulting in a target of 119 for Gloucestershire to win. Glamorgan had some hope when their spinners, Dean Cosker and Robert Croft took three wickets of their own to see Gloucestershire to 59 for 3 at close on day 3, but on the morning of day 4, there just wasn't any help left and Gloucestershire's experienced batsman Tim Hancock could guide the visitors to the target with a fine 41 not out. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Middlesex (6-9 May)

Hampshire (19pts) beat Middlesex (5pts) by 64 runs

Hampshire won a closely-fought match at the Rose Bowl by 64 runs despite the efforts with the ball by New Zealand and Middlesex all-rounder Scott Styris, who took his first ten-wicket haul of his career on a pitch that quickly deteriorated and in Styris' own words was "junk". With former England wicket-keeper John Crawley starring in the first innings, making a controlled 84 before being ninth out to Alan Richardson. There were disappointments for England fans, though, who had hoped that Kevin Pietersen would find some form - instead, he was out for a 10-ball duck in the first innings. Hampshire made 275 in their first innings, Alan Richardson and Scott Styris taking four wickets each.

Middlesex' reply would have been a sorry one but for a big partnership between Owais Shah (83) and Irish left-hander Ed Joyce (70), who continued his great form in the Championship, passing 400 runs in his third match of the season. The pair were the only ones who passed 35, but their fourth-wicket partnership of 166 was the highest in the match. However, leg spinner Shane Warne got the better of both of them in the end, as Joyce gave a return catch and Shah was stumped off the bowling of the Australian. With Hampshire losing two quick wickets to be 28 for 2 at the close, the match hung in the balance, with nightwatchman Billy Taylor on 0 and Australian batsman Simon Katich on 1.

Billy Taylor, however, played a special knock. Lasting 116 balls, he scored only 9 runs, but his stamina proved invaluable. He forged good partnerships with Katich and Crawley, giving Hampshire a good platform to hit loose from. Wicketkeeper Nic Pothas was top-scorer with 65, but Zimbabwe all-rounder Sean Ervine (30) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (44) also chipped in to lift Hampshire to 304. A spirited reply from Middlesex was always tampered by the Hampshire bowlers chipping away at their line-up patiently, and despite 52 from former Kent batsman Ed Smith, Middlesex were defeated as Chris Tremlett ripped out the tail, ending with four for 59 - just outperformed by Warne, who took four for 58. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Nottinghamshire (6-9 May)

'Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Surrey (3pts) by an innings and 71 runs

Nottinghamshire routed Surrey at the Brit Oval after Surrey self-destructed to Mark Ealham in the first innings. Surrey were looking for quick runs and got that, but didn't last fifty overs as Ealham took four of their men for 53 runs. James Benning was top-scorer with 56 runs off 43 balls, with nine fours and a six, and Surrey finished with 217 in 49.1 overs. By contrast, Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian scored at a more sedate pace for Nottinghamshire, plodding along at 3.5 runs an over - but got the runs. An opening partnership of 178 gave Nottinghamshire the edge, and despite losing Anurag Singh for a duck, they were only trailing by thirteen runs at stumps.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming then had a blast for Nottinghamshire. With everything going wrong for Surrey, they just couldn't find any bite, conceded 26 runs off no-balls, and were penalised five runs for ball-tampering, while Fleming smashed 238 runs for his third double-century of his career. With partnerships of 150 runs or more with both Gallian and Australian David Hussey, all the Surrey bowlers were smashed, as Nottinghamshire eased their way to 580 for 4 at stumps on day 2 and eventually 692 for 7 declared. Despite Surrey batting with more composure in the second innings, surviving for 141 overs, the damage was done, and even a two-hour break for rain couldn't save them as they were bowled out for 404, Graeme Swann taking four for 94 with his off-spin while the former England batsman Mark Ramprakash scored his third century of the Championship season with a six-hour 107. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 9 May

County Championship - Division One at 9 May 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 3 2 1 0 0 16 56
2 Warwickshire 4 2 1 1 0 24 56
3 Hampshire 3 2 1 0 0 13 45
4 Sussex 4 1 2 1 0 25 45
5 Gloucestershire 3 1 1 1 0 16 34
6 Surrey 3 1 1 1 0 15 33
7 Kent 2 0 2 0 0 13 21
8 Middlesex 3 0 1 2 0 15 19
9 Glamorgan 3 0 0 3 0 10 10

Round five

Sussex v Warwickshire (10-12 May)

Sussex (21pts) beat Warwickshire (2pts) by an innings and 87 runs

Michael Yardy (88) and Murray Goodwin (108) as Sussex made 282 for 6 on the first day at Hove. Batting was not easy, with Heath Streak, Dewald Pretorius and Neil Carter all swinging the ball. On the second day, Sussex moved to 412 all out, and in reply, defending champions Warwickshire made 141 for 5. There was worse news for England cricket fans as Ashley Giles was unable to field because of a strained hip flexor muscle. Giles said, "It's a shame because it's been going really well. It's the best start to a season I've had but the hip was a bit stiff last week and it got worse yesterday. I haven't had this kind of injury before so, even without the England situation, it would be stupid to make it any worse."

On the third day, Sussex completed the match. Warwickshire were all out for 179, and then, following-on they were dismissed again for 146. Fifteen wickets fell in 64 overs as the Sussex bowlers made the most of an erratically bouncing pitch. It was Warwickshire's first Championship loss since the last day of the 2003 season. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Hampshire (11-14 May)

Kent (10pts) drew with Hampshire (10pts)

Hampshire put on 328 in only 73.3 overs on the first day at Canterbury, helped greatly by a maiden 72-ball first-class century by Shane Warne, who came in with the score on 130 for 7. First class debutant wicket-keeper Tim Burrows scored 42, sharing a 131-run stand with Warne. In reply, Kent were 135 for 3 at stumps, with David Fulton scoring a half-century.

On the second day, Kent were all out for 305, Hampshire making 191 for 2 in reply, putting them firmly in the box seat. The day's honours went to Simon Katich, who was on 125 at close, and with Kevin Pietersen also scoring a century on day three, Hampshire were able to declare on 461 for 9, setting a mammoth target of 485. Kent were 121 for 2 in reply when time was called.

The fourth and final day saw Kent pull off a draw after they attempted to win. When the eighth wicket fell at 370, the tailenders looked for the draw, which they achieved as Kent reached their highest-ever fourth innings total of 447 for 9. Kent's innings featured 77 from Martin van Jaarsveld as six other batsmen scored more than 35. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Gloucestershire (11-13 May)

Middlesex (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by 340 runs

Middlesex won convincingly at Lord's. Ed Joyce continued with his good form, top-scoring with 75 as Middlesex made 390 all out, their highest score of the season so far, on the first day. Gloucestershire faced out a maiden over before the close of play. On the second day, in conditions still favouring the batsmen, 5 wickets from Alan Richardson and 4 from Melvyn Betts saw the visitors crumble to 232. Only Craig Spearman passed 30 for Gloucestershire, as he spent 144 minutes making 69. Middlesex were 93 for 3 in their second innings at stumps.

Middlesex batted for another 62 overs, allowing Owais Shah to make his century, and Ed Joyce 93, before declaring on 342 for 6, leaving Gloucestershire a theoretical 501 to win. Their batting was worse than in their first innings as another 3 wickets from Richardson and 4 from Betts saw them all out for a miserable 160. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Glamorgan (11-14 May)

Surrey (22pts) beat Glamorgan (6pts) by 276 runs

Glamorgan went down to another heavy defeat, this time to Surrey, who were themselves humbled by Nottinghamshire in their previous game. There was a short boundary towards the Harleyford Road, over which Scott Newman (117) and Ali Brown (122) hit plenty of runs to take Surrey to 441 for 7 on the first day. They lost their final three wickets on the second day for just 3 more runs. Glamorgan then failed to show the right application, being dismissed for 345 with Martin Bicknell taking 6 for 74. The last 3 Glamorgan partnerships added 154 runs, with No. 9 David Harrison top-scoring with 75 not out. Such was the high-scoring at the Oval that Surrey were 66 for no loss at stumps on the second day.

On the third day, Newman (219) became the first man to make both a century and a double century in a game for Surrey as they finally declared on 425 for 4, leaving a theoretical target of 525. Bicknell then took his 1,000th wicket for Surrey as Glamorgan battled to 177 for 2 at close, with David Hemp and Mike Powell on 77 and 80 not out respectively. The game was over before lunch on the fourth day, with Rikki Clarke and Mohammad Akram got reverse swing to take 3 and 4 wickets respectively, as Glamorgan were reduced to 248 all out. Their last 7 wickets fell for 28 runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 14 May

County Championship - Division One at 14 May 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 3 2 1 0 0 24 56
1 Warwickshire 4 2 1 1 0 24 56
3 Hampshire 4 2 2 0 0 19 55
3 Surrey 4 2 1 1 0 23 55
5 Sussex 4 1 2 1 0 23 45
6 Middlesex 4 1 1 2 0 22 40
7 Gloucestershire 4 1 1 2 0 20 38
8 Kent 3 0 3 0 0 19 31
9 Glamorgan 4 0 0 4 0 16 16

Round six

Nottinghamshire v Kent (20-23 May)

Kent (20pts) beat Nottinghamshire (3pts) by 196 runs

Trent Bridge was lucky to escape most of the rain that ravaged the sixth round of the Championship, as over 100 overs was possible on the first day in which Kent could rack up 301 runs in their first innings, after being put in to bat by Nottinghamshire's captain Stephen Fleming. Kent's David Fulton and Robert Key paired up to score 81 for the first wicket, but former Yorkshire bowler Ryan Sidebottom came back to remove the three top order batsmen. Sidebottom finished with his five for 61, while the Irish wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien top-scored with 64 on season debut for Kent, taking over from Geraint Jones who had been called up to play Tests for England.

In reply, Nottinghamshire collapsed uncharacteristically, with Simon Cook taking four for 38 as only opener Darren Bicknell passed 25 in Nottinghamshire's innings. At stumps on day 2, Nottinghamshire were 169 for 9, just ahead of the follow-on target, and the last pair added a further 15 early on. Kent scored runs briskly, and despite both their South Africans - Martin van Jaarsveld and Andrew Hall - getting ducks, they racked up 298 for 8 in 72 overs - helped by the 32 extras. Nottinghamshire, chasing a massive 416 to win, imploded, Danish bowler Amjad Khan taking the wickets of David Hussey and Chris Read in quick succession to, with the help of Minaf Patel, reduce the hosts from 114 for 3 to 116 for 6. Even a last-wicket stand of 73 between Sidebottom (31) and 20-year-old Oliver Newby (38 not out) didn't help, as Patel eventually had Sidebottom stumped. Hall got the best bowling figures for Kent in the second innings, recording four for 42 including both Nottinghamshire openers. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Glamorgan (20-23 May)

Hampshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (3pts) by nine wickets

Amid rains at Southampton, Hampshire batted their way to the big lead they were expected to get against Glamorgan, who had lost four games in the Championship before this. Former England batsman John Crawley crawled his way to a day-long century, while Kevin Pietersen took care of the fast scoring, making a century off 99 balls and ending with 126. Hampshire eventually made 401 for 8 declared to get full batting points before attacking Glamorgan. Chris Tremlett bowled well in the attempt, removing David Hemp, Michael Powell and Jonathan Hughes among others to take four for 42 and reduce Glamorgan to 229 - a score that would have been much lower but for Darren Thomas, who blitzed his way to 63. Following on, Glamorgan batted more casually, getting to 77 for 1 at stumps on day 3, but wickets tumbled in the morning, reducing Glamorgan to 147 for 5. Robert Croft and Mike Powell rebuilt, but when Australian batsman Simon Katich had Croft caught by skipper Shane Warne and Powell went a few overs later, Glamorgan imploded to 250 all out as Zimbabwe all-rounder Sean Ervine picked up the last three wickets, finishing with five for 60, while Tremlett took three for 48. In reply, Hampshire brushed aside the target of 79 inside fifteen overs, with Katich - unusually - opening the batting. With Nottinghamshire losing to Kent and Warwickshire and Surrey not playing, Hampshire took the lead in the Championship with their emphatic full-score win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 23 May

County Championship - Division One at 23 May 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Hampshire 5 3 2 0 0 27 77
2 Nottinghamshire 4 2 1 1 0 27 59
3 Warwickshire 4 2 1 1 0 24 56
4 Surrey 4 2 1 1 0 23 55
5 Kent 4 1 3 0 0 25 51
6 Sussex 4 1 2 1 0 23 45
7 Middlesex 4 1 1 2 0 22 40
8 Gloucestershire 4 1 1 2 0 20 38
9 Glamorgan 5 0 0 5 0 19 19

Round seven

Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire (25-27 May)

Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Gloucestershire (4.5pts) by an innings and 27 runs

At Bristol, the visiting captain Stephen Fleming from Nottinghamshire won the toss and chose to bat - a wise choice, as it turned out, as only Mark Hardinges took wickets, but he conceded many runs in the process, finishing with four for 115. Gloucestershire were toothless, conceding 28 runs off no-balls, while their No. 5 David Hussey was deprived of a century when the team collapsed around him, finishing on 98 not out. With a run rate of above four in their 469 all out, they were putting pressure on the hosts, who started sedately without losing wickets. However, a spell from Ryan Sidebottom resulted in three wickets falling with only one run being scored, and that gave Northamptonshire the edge in the game. Gloucestershire were eventually bowled out for 250, as Mark Ealham removed the tail with three for 26 off 16 overs (with ten maidens), and, being forced to follow on, Gloucestershire lost both openers before stumps to have scored three runs for two wickets.

The rot continued on day 3, as Ealham and Sidebottom took more wickets, and Gloucestershire crashed to 56 for 5. Despite a lower-order partnership worth 77 between James Pearson (68) and Sri Lankan international Upul Chandana (49) for the seventh wicket, Gloucestershire were still all out for 192 - 27 runs short of making Nottinghamshire bat again. To compound the misery, Gloucestershire lost half a point for a slow over rate, and the result seemed to cement them near the bottom of the Division 1 table, as they lost contact with Middlesex and Sussex to settle in eighth place. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Surrey (25-28 May)

Surrey (10pts) drew with Kent (9pts)

Kent had to settle for a draw in a see-sawing match against Surrey at Tunbridge Wells, looking to control the game with skipper David Fulton and former England Test player Robert Key in. However, Martin Bicknell sparked a mini-collapse, removing four wickets in a short space of time to give Surrey a chance and finishing with four for 31 from 24 overs. However, after going from 112 for 0 to 129 for 5, Robert Key and Andrew Hall built a partnership of 100 for the sixth wicket to save Kent's blushes. The Kent innings was finished off by slow left-armer Nayan Doshi who took three for 58 as Kent crumbled to 262 all out.

Min Patel then took timely wickets to reduce Surrey to 67 for 3, but Rikki Clarke and Jonathan Batty rescued Surrey with a fourth-wicket partnership of 99. Ali Brown then continued the good work with 56, allowing Clarke to reach his century and give Surrey the lead. However, Patel continued to chip away and ended with six for 124 off 38 overs, and Surrey were bowled out for 324, leading by 62 in what shaped up to be a close match. Before stumps, Kent lost the wicket of David Fulton for 18, but still made 37 for 1. With Key and Martin van Jaarsveld finally playing up to their potential, Key scoring 189 and van Jaarsveld 168, the Surrey bowlers were shown to be rather inadequate as Kent racked up 467 for 4 declared to set Surrey a massive 406 to win in a day.

They never really tried, opting to defend and take the four points available for a draw instead, as their run rate was about one and a half an over before lunch. Despite that, they got to 280 for 0, before the dominant batsman of Surrey's innings - Scott Newman, who made 167 with 16 fours and three sixes - was out to Martin Saggers, who interestingly only bowled eight overs. Despite a minor collapse, losing four wickets for 56 runs, Surrey hung on for the draw - as both teams lost further ground to Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and Warwickshire. During this match it was announced that Surrey would lose 8 points for ball-tampering in their game against Nottinghamshire. (BBC scorecard)

Sussex v Middlesex (25-28 May)

Middlesex (12pts) drew with Sussex (10pts)

James Kirtley took his first five-wicket-haul of the season at Hove to peg back Middlesex in a match where Middlesex were otherwise well in control. Nine of their batsmen went into double figures, Irishman Ed Joyce making another fine score with 82, but Kirtley's six for 80 saved some of their blushes. In reply, Irfan Pathan dug out two Sussex wickets early to give Middlesex a good chance, but Chris Adams, the captain, fought back with a fine 72 while 33-year-old Zimbabwe exile Murray Goodwin made 67, and a good fight-back from the lower-order lifted Sussex to 332. Mushtaq Ahmed plugged away to make 57, while Kirtley helped out with a 95-ball 14, to defy Pathan, who nevertheless got fine figures of four for 81 in his debut in England.

Jason Lewry then took six Middlesex wickets for 65 runs, reducing them to 244, although if it hadn't been Jamie Dalrymple's (65) and Paul Weekes' (71) partnership of 140 for the sixth wicket, things would have looked even nastier for Middlesex. In reply, Sussex were cautious in their chase of 314, but a big partnership between Robin Montgomerie and Murray Goodwin nearly won it for them. However, New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris took four Sussex wickets for 79, and Alan Richardson took four for 38 - including Goodwin and skipper Adams. Sussex lost four wickets for 17 runs to crash to 280 for 6, but Kirtley and Lewry held out as Sussex finished 28 runs short of a victory and Middlesex finished one wicket short of victory in this bottom-fight. (BBC scorecard)

Warwickshire v Hampshire (25-26 May)

Warwickshire (19pts) beat Hampshire (3pts) by ten wickets

Defending champions Warwickshire needed a win against table-toppers Hampshire to stay in the title chase, and in a low-scoring match at Stratford-on-Avon they managed it. The Scot Dougie Brown was the pick of the bowlers, taking four for 59 as the visitors crumbled to 184, rescued somewhat by a run-a-ball 34 from off-spinner Shaun Udal who batted at nine. Nick Knight and 22-year-old Ian Westwood, batting in his fourth first-class game, sent Warwickshire to 135 for 0 before losing a couple of wickets before stumps. The second day belonged to Hampshire, however, taking seven wickets - captain Shane Warne with six of them for 88 runs, as they crumbled to 265.

However, a magnificent spell from Zimbabwean all-rounder Heath Streak, who took four wickets for 11 from nine overs, including five maidens, reduced Hampshire to 34 for 5 before Michael Brown and Sean Ervine rebuilt. However, two quick wickets before tea meant that Hampshire led by six runs with three wickets remaining - a surefire loss, almost. They rebuilt somewhat, but another two wickets from Streak resulted in him finishing with 6 for 31, and Hampshire were bowled out for 124. Nick Knight then smashed 39 not out off 27 balls to see Warwickshire past the 44-run target inside 4.4 overs and a win inside two days. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 28 May

County Championship - Division One at 28 May 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 5 3 1 1 0 35 81
2 Hampshire 6 3 2 1 0 30 80
3 Warwickshire 5 3 1 1 0 29 75
4 Kent 5 1 4 0 0 25 60
5 Surrey 5 2 2 1 8 29 57
6 Sussex 5 1 3 1 0 29 55
7 Middlesex 5 1 2 2 0 30 52
8 Gloucestershire 5 1 1 3 0.5 25 42.5
9 Glamorgan 5 0 0 5 0 19 19

Round eight

Glamorgan v Sussex (1-4 June)

Sussex (12pts) drew with Glamorgan (8pts)

Glamorgan avoided defeat again despite following on at Swansea, mainly thanks to the first day being rained off. On the second day, which was also shortened, Sussex scored 225 for 2 after Glamorgan won the toss and put them in. Two Sussex batsmen reached their highest scores of 2005 on the third morning, as Richard Montgomerie ended with 184 not out - 12 off his career best - and Murray Goodwin reached 158. Sussex finally declared on 497 for 5, and in reply Matthew Elliott made 85 and David Hemp 128 and Glamorgan reached 301, which was not enough to avoid the follow-on. The experienced fast bowler Jason Lewry took six for 77 for Sussex, while the Welsh team's new import, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, scored a duck in his first innings. However, Glamorgan comfortably achieved a draw with Matthew Elliott striking 162 in the second innings. When time was called, Glamorgan were on 354 for 3. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Gloucestershire (1-3 June)

Kent (18pts) beat Gloucestershire (3pts) by 7 wickets
Kent deducted 8pts because of the poor quality of the pitch

Kent may have some cause to regret playing this match in their outground at Maidstone even though they secured a comfortable victory against Gloucestershire, as they ended up being fined 8pts for the poor quality of the pitch. Gloucestershire could only manage 183 in their first innings, and only 98 in their second, while Irish wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien held nine catches. Kent's bowlers all contributed, as Simon Cook, Andrew Hall and Amjad Khan took five wickets each. Kent made 204 in their first innings despite Mark Hardinges 5 for 51, and lost only 3 wickets in reaching their second-innings target of 78. No batsman made 40 in the entire match, and despite some overs on the first day being lost to rain, the game was over in 3 days. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Hampshire (1-4 June)

Hampshire (17pts) beat Nottinghamshire (4pts) by 14 runs

Hampshire pulled off a close win on the final day against their title rivals. There was no play on the first day at Trent Bridge because of rain. When play did get underway, Hampshire batted first, making 277 as Andrew Harris took 6 for 83. Nine Hampshire batsmen made double-figure scores, with only Kevin Pietersen (two-ball 0) and No. 11 Richard Logan dismissed for a one-digit score. More rain meant that Nottinghamshire were only on 222 for 5 in reply by the end of the third day. With both teams eager for the 14 points on offer for an outright victory, terms were agreed to between the two sides. Nottinghamshire declared overnight, and Hampshire replied by hitting 220 for 4 off 28.3 overs. These overs were bowled by Jason Gallian, David Hussey and Darren Bicknell - players who on average bowled a couple of overs a match, but who now bowled as Hampshire were invited to score quickly. Hussey got career best figures of four for 105. Nottinghamshire were set 276 to win, and a century from Stephen Fleming saw the hosts to 227 for 3, but after that they collapsed, losing their last five wickets for three runs, with Chris Tremlett taking 5 for 80, including a hat-trick as Hampshire edged the victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Warwickshire (1-4 June)

Surrey (10pts) drew with Warwickshire (8pts)

Surrey had the better of the first three days at Whitgift School, which is located in Croydon and is now in its fifth year as a festival venue. Richard Clinton and Jonathan Batty both made 84 to bring up a first innings total of 340 for the hosts, and Mohammad Akram then took 5 for 51 as the defending champions were all out for 209 on the second day, and Scott Newman survived five overs with Clinton, adding 14 runs. Surrey declared on 310 for 7, which gave them just over a day to bowl out Warwickshire. Despite fine bowling from Harbhajan Singh, who was making his Surrey debut, the Warwickshire batsmen held up well with Michael Powell and Alex Loudon putting on an unbeaten partnership of 131 to see them safe on 222 for 3 at close. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 4 June

County Championship - Division One at 4 June 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Hampshire 7 4 2 1 0 33 97
2 Nottinghamshire 6 3 1 2 0 39 85
3 Warwickshire 6 3 2 1 0 33 83
4 Kent 6 2 4 0 8 34 70
5 Surrey 6 2 3 1 8 35 67
6 Sussex 6 1 4 1 0 37 67
7 Middlesex 5 1 2 2 0 30 52
8 Gloucestershire 6 1 1 4 0.5 28 45.5
9 Glamorgan 6 0 1 5 0 23 27

Round nine

Glamorgan v Kent (8-10 June)

Kent (21.5pts) beat Glamorgan (6pts) by 10 wickets

Glamorgan went down to another heavy defeat at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. After winning the toss and losing two wickets for 16, Kent fought back to make a mammoth 568, thanks mainly to 262 not out from Martin van Jaarsveld - the highest score of the English county season so far - with Darren Stevens (80) and Min Patel (87) offering valuable support. Although Glamorgan didn't collapse, it was clear they were not going to threaten their visitors' score. A number of batsmen got in with David Hemp and Sourav Ganguly both making 69, but the innings ended on 358. The follow-on was enforced, and Glamorgan went into freefall when they had to bat again. Amjad Khan ripped out three early wickets - for which Glamorgan only scampered five runs, and Kent took the next two wickets for 29 runs, leaving the Welsh team precariously placed at 34 for 5, before Ganguly saved the innings with a thumping three-hour 142. The late rally, however, was only enough to force Kent to make 51 runs in their second innings, which they achieved without loss of a wicket to win inside three days. Kent were deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Surrey (8-11 June)

Middlesex (12pts) drew with Surrey (12pts)

Surrey edged the first day against Middlesex at Lord's. Initially Surrey reduced their hosts to 148 for 5, but then Jason Dalrymple rescued the innings with 77, supported by Irfan Pathan and Ben Scott. The first day ended with them on 319 for 7. They improved that greatly to 437 on the second day, as Pathan and Scott both made scores in the 60s. Surrey started slowly, moving to 18 for 1 after 15 overs of quality bowling from Pathan and Alan Richardson, but the stranglehold was eased with Richard Clinton scoring freely as he made his way to 73. At close, which came 18 overs early because of bad light, Surrey were 157 for 2, with Mark Ramprakash having retired hurt. Bad light claimed the last 29 overs of the third day too, but an unbeaten 152 from Ali Brown and a Surrey debut score of 81 from New South Wales recruit Dominic Thornely saw Surrey through to 460. The fourth day was always likely to meander into a draw, and exactly that happened; Surrey were simply unable to take wickets quick enough as the hosts were content to bat to 353 for 6 declared. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Warwickshire (10-13 June)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by an innings and 2 runs

A massive batting effort from Warwickshire compounded with a remarkable second-innings bowling spell from Heath Streak and a spineless Gloucestershire effort in general, saw Warwickshire move to the top of the Division One table. It started all right enough for the hosts at Bristol, as a marathon three-hour fifty from James Pearson and 23 extras sent them to 254 on the first day. However, a partnership of 151 between Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott lifted Warwickshire into the ascendancy, as no Gloucestershire bowler found the required bite, and everyone of the top ten except Michael Powell went into double figures as Warwickshire amassed 473 in nearly 150 overs. Then, Streak stole the show. As Streak grabbed four wickets in the first hour, Gloucestershire were quickly 20 for 5, and despite a rescuing effort from Mark Alleyne and Ian Fisher, Gloucestershire were all out for 217 - two runs short of making Warwickshire bat again. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 12 June

County Championship - Division One at 12 June 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Warwickshire 7 4 2 1 0 41 105
2 Hampshire 7 4 2 1 0 33 97
3 Kent 7 3 4 0 8.5 42 91.5
4 Nottinghamshire 6 3 1 2 0 39 85
5 Surrey 7 2 4 1 8 43 79
6 Sussex 6 1 4 1 0 37 67
7 Middlesex 6 1 3 2 0 38 64
8 Gloucestershire 7 1 1 5 0.5 32 49.5
9 Glamorgan 7 0 1 6 0 29 33

Round ten

Hampshire v Surrey (15-17 June)

Surrey (21pts) beat Hampshire (3pts) by an innings and 55 runs

A great team effort, despite Martin Bicknell being out of form, resulted in Surrey winning their third game of the season and sharing third place in the table with Hampshire. A healthy opening partnership between Scott Newman and Richard Clinton worth 100 was to be the highest of the entire match, and despite Chris Tremlett taking wickets regularly, he also conceded a lot of runs, as he ended with four for 106 off twenty overs. Newman eventually finished with 111 and Australian David Thornely made 73 to see Surrey to a final score of 361 - in just 81.4 overs. The first two days at The Rose Bowl were hampered by rain, but amid the showers, Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh took six for 36 as Hampshire crumbled in a rather unimpressive heap for 146. Only two batsmen passed 20, and seven were out in single figures. Hampshire's second innings began with the first ball of the third day, and Jason Ormond ripped out two wickets quickly, Mohammad Akram got a five-for, and only John Crawley's 67 - off 62 balls with thirteen boundaries, slightly out of place in the situation - passed 25. Thus, the two teams were tied on 100 points in the Championship, allowing Warwickshire and Kent to run away further on the table. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Glamorgan (15-18 June)

Middlesex (20pts) beat Glamorgan (6pts) by six wickets

Middlesex won a high-scoring match at Southgate, where only 14 wickets fell in four days, while seven centuries were hit, including a double century. After the first day was shortened by rain, Glamorgan got into their stride on the second day, Dan Cherry taking seven hours to smash 226 - while Middlesex' best bowler was Melvyn Betts, taking one for 80. Glamorgan declared on 584 for 3, and Middlesex replied in fashion, declaring on 435 for 4 in an attempt to get a result - Ed Joyce scoring 155. Three quick wickets from Alan Richardson gave Middlesex some hope of forcing Glamorgan out, but a quick 84 not out from Sourav Ganguly and Jonathan Hughes' second century of the match resulted in Glamorgan setting a tricky target of 408 in only 80-85 overs - so they thought, anyway. But tons from Ed Smith and Owais Shah lifted Middlesex to 380 for 1 (admittedly with Ben Hutton retired hurt), and Irishman Ed Joyce made 70 not out to see Middlesex to the target. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Nottinghamshire (15-18 June)

Sussex (11pts) drew with Nottinghamshire (11pts)

A rain-ravaged match at Arundel, where only seven overs were possible on the second day, ended in a drab draw. Batting first, Sussex needed seven sessions of play to make 355, despite only facing 87 overs, and Nottinghamshire weren't overly excited in getting a result, either. Matthew Prior, Murray Goodwin (in the second innings) and Chris Adams (also in the second innings) made tons for Sussex in the match, Stephen Fleming made one for the visitors, and Sussex' Jason Lewry was the pick of the bowlers with six for 74. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Kent (15-18 June)

Kent (22pts) beat Warwickshire (3pts) by an innings and 164 runs

Warwickshire felt the loss of seamer Heath Streak to injury as they went down by a massive margin to a strong Kent side at Maidstone. Batting first, Warwickshire were 116 for 8 when Tony Frost departed for 23, Simon Cook and Amjad Khan having taken three wickets each. However, a ninth-wicket partnership of 97 between Streak and Neil Carter, along with a level-headed stand from the number 11 Neil Warren lifted Warwickshire to 252. As it turned out, it was nowhere near enough. Streak limpered off in his fifth over with a groin injury, leaving all-rounder Alex Loudon and Carter to do the brunt of the bowling, and they were woefully ineffective against Kent's batting line-up. Matthew Walker and Darren Stevens both made centuries for Kent, Martin van Jaarsveld chipped in with 62, while Loudon was Warwickshire's best bowler with three for 130, Kent amassed 569 - a lead of 317 runs. In the twenty overs remaining on the third day, Andrew Hall dug out two wickets for Kent, including England Test batsman Ian Bell for a duck. On a fourth-day pitch which turned plenty, Minaf Patel could take six for 53, as Warwickshire crumbled in a woeful heap for 153. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 18 June

County Championship - Division One at 18 June 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 8 4 4 0 8.5 50 113.5
2 Warwickshire 8 4 2 2 0 41 108
3 Hampshire 8 4 2 2 0 36 100
4 Surrey 8 3 4 1 8 50 100
5 Nottinghamshire 7 3 2 2 0 46 96
6 Middlesex 7 2 3 2 0 44 84
7 Sussex 7 1 5 1 0 44 78
8 Gloucestershire 7 1 1 5 0.5 32 49.5
9 Glamorgan 8 0 1 7 0 35 39

Round eleven

Gloucestershire v Surrey (8-11 July)

Gloucestershire (8pts) drew with Surrey (12pts)

At tea on day 2, it seemed inconceivable that, barring rain, this game would go to a draw, but Surrey failed to turn the screw and were denied victory by Alex Gidman and Steve Adshead. Surrey won the toss and opted to bat, and after Scott Newman and Richard Clinton had added 136 for the first wicket, things looked promising for the visitors to Bristol. With seven fifties - numbers 7, 8 and 9 Azhar Mahmood, Martin Bicknell and Harbhajan Singh all adding more than 75 runs - but no century, Surrey amassed 603 before being bowled out at lunch, none of the four bowlers conceding less than 100 runs. This was also the highest total without a century in England, breaking a 106-year-old record by Nottinghamshire, and the second highest total without a century in first-class cricket.

Then, a burst of three wickets from Rikki Clarke sent Gloucestershire to the ropes at 83 for 5. Alex Gidman, Mark Hardinges and Ian Fisher lifted the first-innings total to 288, still trailing by 325, but Gidman and wicket-keeper Adshead had more tricks saved for the second innings. Gloucestershire batted a marathon 157.2 overs against the Surrey spin-bowling - Harbhajan bowling 49 of those - Gidman made a six-hour 142, Adshead pairing up with him for a little over four of those hours to add 93, and the second-innings total read 494. Surrey were eventually set a target of 180 to win in eleven overs. and not even Twenty20 style hitting from Azhar Mahmood, who hit three fours and one six in his 26 could send them to that, as they finished with 84 for 3. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Hampshire (8-11 July)

Middlesex (19pts) beat Hampshire (7pts) by two wickets

Hampshire won the toss and chose to bat at a Southgate wicket which the final scores suggested to be not as batting-friendly as a month ago, when 13 wickets fell in the Championship match between Middlesex and Glamorgan. Three wickets from Chris Peploe set the visitors back to 189 for 7, but a 79-ball century from Shane Warne - just in time to get some Ashes form - lifted them to 355. The returning Irishman, Ed Joyce, made 54 for Middlesex, and Jamie Dalrymple made 62, but despite those innings - and 37 extras - Middlesex could only scamper 272.

Hampshire were leading by 104 overnight with one wicket down, but the third day belonged to Dalrymple. The Kenyan-born off-spinner took four for 53, including internationals John Crawley and Craig McMillan, as Hampshire imploded to 192. A Twenty20 style hit-out from Owais Shah, who made 60 off 56 balls, lifted Middlesex to 168 for 4 at stumps, and as the Hampshire captain Warne chose to bowl himself over after over despite being smashed out of the park (ending with 108 runs off nearly 30 overs for only two wickets), Middlesex reached the target shortly before lunch on day four with two wickets to spare, despite losing three wickets to Shaun Udal and two to Zimbabwean part-timer Greg Lamb. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan (8-11 July)

Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by ten wickets

Glamorgan continued on their woeful season, enduring their eighth loss in nine County Championship games, this time to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. The hosts won the toss and sent Glamorgan in to bat, and got wickets, admittedly while conceding runs quickly in the process - the final score was 261 in 61 overs. Chris Read, the former England wicket-keeper, then made his fifth first-class century with a 117-ball ton, only to be departed by Nottinghamshire's last man Mark Footitt shortly afterwards - left stranded on 103 not out. Nottinghamshire, however, had made it to a total of 425, and Footitt made amends with the ball, taking four for 45 amid no-balls and wides. Glamorgan were swiftly taken out for 214, as nine batsmen made it into double figures but none could go beyond 35, and Nottinghamshire openers Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian eased past the target of 57 as Nottinghamshire recorded a full-score win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Sussex (10-13 July)

Sussex (21pts) beat Kent (6pts) by 66 runs

Sussex took hand of a see-sawing match at Canterbury, mainly thanks to their Pakistani overseas players Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed, who took fourteen wickets between them. The hosts Kent won the toss and put Sussex in to bat, and after an initial opening partnership of 65, two wickets fell quickly. However, an opener Ian Ward completed his century, and 63 from Murray Goodwin swung it Sussex's way to 210 for 2 before South African all-rounder Andrew Hall took two quick wickets. Sussex quickly slumped to 298 for 8, but captain Chris Adams stood firm, making 83 as Sussex batted into the second day - making 378 in the end. Curiously, Simon Cook of Kent bowled eleven maidens in 24 overs, but conceded 57 runs in the other 13.

Kent looked to be well on the way to posting a challenging total, as they were on 323 for 6 at stumps on day 2, with four of their batsmen making fifties. However, day three saw a total of twenty wickets tumble. First, Kent lost four wickets to be all out for 348, trailing by 30. Then, after Michael Yardy and Goodwin had rescued to Sussex to 89 for 2 after both openers had been removed for sub-20 scores, Sussex fell apart. Min Patel ran through the middle-order, Dane Amjad Khan took care of the tail, and Sussex were all out for 155, setting a target of 186. However, accurate bowling was enough to undo Kent, as no Kent batsmen passed 35 and Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed shared eight wickets - Kent were all out for 119, but retained the County Championship lead, as their closest competitors failed to win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 13 July

County Championship - Division One at 13 July 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 9 4 4 1 8.5 56 119.5
2 Nottinghamshire 8 4 2 2 0 54 118
3 Surrey 9 3 5 1 8 58 112
4 Warwickshire 8 4 2 2 0 41 108
5 Hampshire 9 4 2 3 0 43 107
6 Middlesex 8 3 3 2 0 49 103
7 Sussex 8 2 5 1 0 51 99
8 Gloucestershire 8 1 2 5 0.5 36 57.5
9 Glamorgan 9 0 1 8 0 40 44

Round twelve

Hampshire v Sussex (20-23 July)

Hampshire (19.5pts) beat Sussex (6pts) by 35 runs

Hampshire's veteran wicketkeeper Nic Pothas made his way to a four-hour 135, his twelfth first-class century, after Jason Lewry, James Kirtley and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan had reduced Hampshire to 102 for 6 in the middle of the afternoon session on the first day. Pothas was well supported by Zimbabwean Sean Ervine, who made 69, and the pair added 191 in three hours before Naved-ul-Hasan broke through with the last ball of the day, having Ervine caught by Ian Ward. Hampshire slumped to 309 on the morning of day two, and solid contributions from the entire batting order - bar number three Michael Yardy who made a duck - lifted Sussex to a slender seven-run lead amid Ervine's swing bowling, which yielded five wickets for 73. However, Mushtaq Ahmed got the early breakthrough for Sussex, and James Kirtley ripped out two quick wickets as Hampshire folded to 22 for 3 overnight.

Kirtley and Naved-ul-Hasan continued to pile on the pressure on the third morning, as they eked out two catches and reduced Hampshire to 28 for 5, a lead of 21. However, once again, the all-rounders fought back. Australian Shane Watson made 82, while Pothas added 74, and number 11 Chris Tremlett made an unbeaten 44 to ensure that Hampshire set a competitive target of 271, despite Kirtley's five for 67. Ian Ward made 60 and Murray Goodwin an unbeaten 51 as Sussex cruised to 167 for 3 after only 38 overs on day three, needing 104 more to win on the fourth day.

Goodwin added 20 more on the final morning before Dimitri Mascarenhas snared him out, but he had stood tall in Mascarenhas' early spell on the morning of day 4, which had yielded three wickets for two runs. Goodwin was eventually caught by Greg Lamb, but Sussex still needed only 55 for the last three wickets - however, Sean Ervine added the wickets of Pakistanis Rana and Ahmed to his tally to help bowl Sussex out for 235. Thus, Hampshire took the victory in a closely contested game, although they were later deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Kent (20-23 July)

Kent (21pts) beat Surrey (7.5pts) by four wickets

At Guildford, Surrey opted to bat first against the league-leaders Kent, and despite losing Richard Clinton for a ten-ball duck early on, the first day belonged to Surrey. Three batsmen passed 90 - Graham Thorpe, Mark Ramprakash and Ali Brown, who top-scored with 107 having been 101 not out overnight - as Surrey eased their way to 452 for 8 declared, never really bothered by any of the Kent bowlers. Kent were not daunted by Surrey's high score, however, not even when Robert Key and Darren Stevens departed in quick succession to see Kent to 202 for 4, but Matthew Walker and Justin Kemp added 233 for the fifth wicket, both making centuries. Kemp was eventually bowled by Azhar Mahmood for 124, but Walker went on to make 173 as Kent racked up 572, a lead of 120.

In reply, Richard Clinton and Jonathan Batty put on 107 for the first wicket, as the match headed towards a draw. However, patient work from spinner Min Patel, who was asked to bowl 47 overs, yielded four wickets (all of whom batted from number six and down) for 110 runs, and Patel was supported by two wickets by Andrew Hall to limit Kent's target to 231. After a frantic 34 overs, during which Mohammad Akram no-balled four times in his six overs while taking two for 30, Justin Kemp showed his skill at hitting quick runs as he made 47 not out, with three sixes, off 37 balls. In the end, Kent won with five balls remaining before the umpire would call time, and Surrey were also deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire (20-22 July)

Nottinghamshire (20pts) beat Warwickshire (4pts) by ten wickets

An eventful match at Edgbaston looked to give Nottinghamshire the lead in the County Championship, as they swept aside Warwickshire with few problems. The Warwickshire batting line-up sorely missed Ian Bell, who was on Test match duty for England, and after an opening partnership of 101 between Nic Knight and Ian Westwood, an implosion followed. Warwickshire faltered to 168 for 8, and only 21-year-old Luke Parker, playing his seventh first-class match, saved them from a sub-200 score as he made an unbeaten 34.

Warwickshire's bowling, which lacked an injured Heath Streak, also suffered, and despite excellent figures of six for 92 from Alex Loudon the Nottinghamshire batsmen ran away with it as Darren Bicknell, Jason Gallian and Australian David Hussey all made fifties. Then, it was a Nottinghamshire spinner's turn to take centre stage - Graeme Swann. In 23 overs, he took six for 57, including the entire Warwickshire middle order from three to six - only Westwood passed 25, and Warwickshire could only muster 133. As if to make the humiliation complete, Swann was promoted to number 1, and hit one boundary and four additional runs before stumps were drawn after one over. Nottinghamshire were eight for no loss overnight, chasing 12 to win, and Darren Bicknell hit the winning runs off Dewald Pretorius four balls into the fourth day. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Glamorgan v Middlesex (21-23 July)

Middlesex (22pts) beat Glamorgan (4pts) by an innings and 23 runs

The first day of the match at Sophia Gardens belonged, as expected, to Middlesex. After Ed Smith had dominated proceedings in the first hour, making 29, Ben Hutton and Owais Shah made a partnership of 109 to lift Middlesex, and their entire middle-order made contributions, as the score finished on 534 - Shah finishing on 101, Kenyan-born Jamie Dalrymple scoring 108, and number nine Peter Trego smacking 72 off 54 balls. When Glamorgan batted, Trego took three quick wickets, to end with three for 52, and Scott Styris helped mopping up the Glamorgan tail with three for 42. Only Robert Croft passed 25 - thumping 84 off 76 balls with 72 runs in boundaries - as Glamorgan subsided for 232 and were asked to follow on.

Middlesex seamer Melvyn Betts set back Glamorgan's second innings effort with two wickets to see them to 25 for 2, but opener and wicketkeeper Mark Wallace defied them with 64, and Sourav Ganguly also made 55 as Glamorgan made their way to 208 for 5, with a slight chance of making Middlesex bat again. However, Styris took the last four wickets en route to bowling figures of five for 57 as Middlesex secured the innings victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 23 July

County Championship - Division One at 23 July 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 10 5 4 1 8.5 63 140.5
2 Nottinghamshire 9 5 2 2 0 60 138
3 Hampshire 10 5 2 3 0.5 49 126.5
4 Middlesex 9 4 3 2 0 57 125
5 Surrey 10 3 5 2 8.5 66 119.5
6 Warwickshire 9 4 2 3 0 45 112
7 Sussex 9 2 5 2 0 57 105
8 Gloucestershire 8 1 2 5 0.5 36 57.5
9 Glamorgan 10 0 1 9 0 44 48

Round thirteen

Nottinghamshire v Surrey (26-29 July)

Nottinghamshire (8pts) drew with Surrey (7pts)

Surrey batted first at Trent Bridge, after Mark Ramprakash had won the toss, but despite Ramprakash making 42 the Nottinghamshire bowlers were completely in control. Andrew Harris took three for 55, Greg Smith removed three wickets in quick succession as Surrey fell from 53 for 1 to 57 for 4, and Surrey were bowled out for 136 with only four batsmen making their way into double figures. Nottinghamshire's reply lasted 66 overs, after eight wickets had fallen in 53 overs on the first day to take the first day wicket tally to 18, and Martin Bicknell got six for 56 with his swing bowling, his best return of the season. However, Nottinghamshire could thank Mark Ealham who negotiated the difficult conditions well to make 55 as Nottinghamshire earned a 90-run lead.

Surrey lost wickets regularly in the reply on day two, Scott Newman resisting with 40, but by stumps on day two they were 93 for 3 - rain having limited the day's play to 40 overs, yet a result looked very probable. However, day three was rained off, and an unbeaten century from Rikki Clarke sent Surrey into a good position at 292 for 6, where they declared to leave Nottinghamshire 203 runs from 40 overs. Nottinghamshire made a good attempt at chasing it, but lost five wickets quickly for 90 runs to Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram. David Alleyne and Mark Ealham dug in before two quick wickets fell, but Ryan Sidebottom shut up shop with Smith to hold on for the draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Gloucestershire (26-29 July)

Sussex (7pts) drew with Gloucestershire (7pts)

Rain damaged both the first and the second day at The County Ground, Hove, and only 93 overs were possible in two days. Yet, 18 wickets fell on those two days, 14 of which on the second day. Sussex resumed play on the second day with an overnight score of 97 for 4, and immediately lost two wickets to swing bowler Jon Lewis, who ended with four for 62. However, a quick blast of four fours, one six and one single from Jason Lewry lifted Sussex to 191 all out. The Gloucestershire reply never got off the mark, as seven batsmen were out in single figures and the highest partnership was 33. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan got good output with the ball, however, taking four for 26 as Gloucestershire ended on 142.

Despite early breakthroughs from Lewis and Steve Kirby Sussex fought back, as Michael Yardy, Murray Goodwin and Chris Adams all passed 40 to see Sussex to 200 for 4 at stumps on day three. Lewis took four wickets on the fourth morning to bowl Sussex out for 267, Yardy completing his century before he was caught off Ian Fisher, setting up a potentially exciting finish with 317 required off 74 overs. Gloucestershire never attempted the chase, however, and Sussex failed to get them out, despite 19 overs of spin from Mushtaq Ahmed which yielded three wickets for 25. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 29 July

County Championship - Division One at 29 July 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 10 5 3 2 0 64 146
2 Kent 10 5 4 1 8.5 63 140.5
3 Hampshire 10 5 2 3 0.5 49 126.5
4 Surrey 11 3 6 2 8.5 69 126.5
5 Middlesex 9 4 3 2 0 57 125
6 Warwickshire 9 4 2 3 0 45 112
7 Sussex 10 2 6 2 0 60 112
8 Gloucestershire 9 1 3 5 0.5 39 64.5
9 Glamorgan 10 0 1 9 0 44 48

Round fourteen

Gloucestershire v Hampshire (3-6 August)

Hampshire (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (7pts) by 178 runs

Gloucestershire bowlers Steve Kirby, Jon Lewis and Malinga Bandara threatened to make a mockery of Shaun Udal's decision to have a bat at Bristol, as Hampshire fell to 81 for 7, with five batsmen out for single-figures. However, a 257-run partnership - a Hampshire record for the eighth wicket - between Nic Pothas and Andy Bichel turned the match around, as Lewis was carted for 112 runs in his 20 overs, despite five of them being maiden overs. Hampshire finished their innings on 385 all out, after Pothas had made 139 and Bichel 138, and Gloucestershire struggled initially with the bat, losing their first two wickets for 25 runs (admittedly with Kirby filling the role of nightwatchman).

On the second day, Alex Gidman posted 115 and Steve Adshead 73 to lift Gloucestershire from 191 for 6 to 363. Hampshire then collapsed again, falling to 23 for 3 (including the wicket of nightwatchman Chris Tremlett) before John Crawley and Shane Watson rescued them with a 120-run partnership, as spinners Bandara and Ian Fisher toiled away to little effect. Hampshire eventually declared on 388 for 7, with four of their batsmen passing fifty, which left Gloucestershire 411 to win in a day. That never looked likely, but attritional cricket from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Matt Windows lifted Gloucestershire to 156 for 2, and then Gidman came in to add a further 39 for the fourth wicket. However, Shane Watson got a vital breakthrough with the wicket of Gidman, Shaun Udal unleashed a spell of furious off-spin on the tail, taking six for 61, and Gloucestershire were bowled out with an hour to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Glamorgan (3-5 August)

Kent (22pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by an innings and 124 runs

Kent, as expected, beat Glamorgan, but were worried on occasion. Having been shaken early on as Glamorgan dug out four early wickets, Kent were lifted by a 267-run partnership between Darren Stevens (who made 208) and Andrew Hall (133) which helped them along the way to a final first-innings score of 587, with Min Patel taking 55 balls for a 64 from number nine. Six Glamorgan players were then out in single figures, Amjad Khan taking three for 68, but number three David Hemp stood tall with an unbeaten 171. Glamorgan were 188 for 9 at one point on day two, but survived to stumps to 236 for 9, and just kept going - their number 11, Huw Waters, made 34 from 192 balls, and he added 118 with Hemp, for the second-highest stand of the match.

However, Hemp was worn out after his marathon knock, and was sent in at five as Glamorgan followed on. Glamorgan were bundled out for 157, Hemp only lasting half an hour before he was lbw to Hall, who took four for 32. Justin Kemp and Simon Cook also got two wickets each, while Jonathan Hughes top scored with 27. This was Glamorgan's tenth loss in the County Championship this season. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Warwickshire (3-6 August)

Warwickshire (19pts) beat Middlesex (5.5pts) by three wickets

Warwickshire had got adequate replacement for their injured Zimbabwean Heath Streak, as Makhaya Ntini took four for 79 on his debut for the Bears against Middlesex. However, Paul Weekes made 92 not out to rescue them from a poor position at 139 for 6 to a final total of 323. Then, another overseas player making his overseas debut - Stuart Clark from New South Wales, Australia - took five wickets, three on the first day and two on the second, as Warwickshire plummeted to 85 for 6. It took another 92 - from Scot Dougie Brown to see them past 200, and his four-hour knock proved invaluable to Warwickshire's eventual turn-around.

Ben Hutton and Owais Shah looked to set a massive target on day three, however, pairing up for 151 to add to Middlesex' 51-run first innings lead - but again Ntini came to the rescue for Warwickshire, as only Shah got the ball off the square and Middlesex whimpered from 281 for 3 to 330 all out. Shah finished not out, having hit 15 fours and two sixes in a five-hour 156. Peter Trego then took two wickets with two balls as Warwickshire fell to six for two, but Jamie Troughton smacked four sixes and twelve fours in a quickfire 119 as Warwickshire forced their way to 221 for 3 at stumps, with Nick Knight not out overnight on 67, leaving the match interestingly poised with 161 to win and seven wickets in hand. Knight was dismissed for 75 by the Australian Clark, who also removed Neil Carter for 15, but Alex Loudon proved too difficult to get out. His unbeaten 95, along with 27 not out from Luke Parker, saw Warwickshire pass the target with three wickets to spare, despite Middlesex' slow over rate, which caused them to be deducted half a point. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Surrey (3-5 August)

Sussex (21pts) beat Surrey (4pts) by five wickets

Surrey won the toss at Hove against Sussex, and chose to bat - and lost the wickets of both their openers in the first 20 minutes to fall to seven for two. Mark Ramprakash, Rikki Clarke and Jonathan Batty steadied the ship, and Surrey made their way to 157 for 3, only for all-rounder Robin Martin-Jenkins to snare a couple of wickets and incite a collapse to 187 for 8. Azhar Mahmood's quickfire 57 not out lifted them to 248, but Sussex posted 67 for the first wicket, and despite by four wickets from Azhar which sent the hosts to 180 for 6, Martin-Jenkins made 88 from number eight to help Sussex to 378 and a lead of 130.

Openers Scott Newman and Richard Clinton made up for their first-innings failure and batted 22 overs until stumps on day two without giving away their wickets, but on the third morning James Kirtley got the vital breakthrough, having Clinton caught for 12 off 79 balls. Rikki Clarke's 75 led Surrey to set a target, at least, as the Pakistanis dominated - Naved-ul-Hasan got four for 70 and Mushtaq Ahmed three for 96. Surrey had some Pakistanis of their own, as Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram took two and one wicket respectively, and Sussex scrambled to 33 for 4 at tea on day 3, chasing a meagre 125 to win. After tea, however, Michael Yardy and Matthew Prior attacked Nayan Doshi with fury - Prior finishing with 66 not out off just 48 balls - as Sussex eased to the target with five wickets to spare, losing Yardy for 35 but still holding out for the win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 6 August

County Championship - Division One at 6 August 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 11 6 4 1 8.5 71 162.5
2 Hampshire 11 6 2 3 0.5 56 147.5
3 Nottinghamshire 10 5 3 2 0 64 146
4 Sussex 11 3 6 2 0 67 133
5 Warwickshire 10 5 2 3 0 53 131
6 Middlesex 10 4 3 3 0.5 63 130.5
7 Surrey 12 3 6 3 8.5 73 130.5
8 Gloucestershire 10 1 3 6 0.5 46 71.5
9 Glamorgan 11 0 1 10 0 48 52

Round fifteen

Glamorgan v Warwickshire (10-12 August)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (3pts) by ten wickets

Warwickshire took control of proceedings on the first day at Colwyn Bay, as they fielded a bowling attack with no English-born players against Glamorgan. South African international Makhaya Ntini, interestingly, was the least effective, only getting the wicket of number 11 Dean Cosker, and conceding 49 runs in the process. Meanwhile, Scot Dougie Brown took four for 58, but Glamorgan actually recovered quite well from 76 for 6 to their final score of 239. However, their blunt bowling attack were shown up again, as Ian Westwood recorded his maiden first-class century, four batsmen passed fifty, and Warwickshire muscled their way to 545 for 7 before declaring. Jonathan Trott also made 152 for Warwickshire, while Robert Croft was the most effective bowler - with three for 126.

Wicket-keeper Mark Wallace then smashed 68 not out off 50 balls to see Glamorgan to the end of the day at 99 for 1. However, he only faced two balls on the third morning before being lbw to Brown. Most of the Warwickshire bowlers got in among the wickets - part-time medium pace bowler Trott taking two for 19 in four overs, for example - and Warwickshire were set three to win, which they achieved off fourteen deliveries as Nick Knight hit a single off David Harrison. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Sussex (10-13 August)

Sussex (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by 226 runs

Sussex recorded a comfortable win at Bristol against Gloucestershire, to escape further from the relegation zone - in a match completely dominated by Sussex' overseas bowlers. Murray Goodwin, Chris Adams and Matthew Prior all made quick half-centuries, to propel Sussex to 365, while the Gloucestershire spinners shared seven wickets - Malinga Bandara taking four for 64 and Ian Fisher three for 93. Indeed, spinners were to take the brunt of the bowling, as Gloucestershire had only gone in with two specialist seamers - and one of them, Steve Kirby, broke down with an injury in his fifth over of the day.

Gloucestershire resumed the second day on 28 for 1, and players from the Indian subcontinent were to dominate the day's proceedings, as they took all of the thirteen wickets. Sussex' Pakistani spinner Mushtaq Ahmed took six for 65, while Rana Naved-ul-Hasan added three to his overnight tally of one to end with four for 53. No Gloucestershire batsman passed 50, as they trailed by 141 on first innings. Sussex took on seven overs from the seamers, before Michael Ball and Bandara started another marathon spell. The openers survived to pair up for 67, but then Bandara took a burst of wickets, finishing the day with four for 58 as Sussex closed the second day's play on 128 for 4.

On the third day, Prior and Michael Yardy made a fifth wicket-partnership worth 141 runs, and Sussex could declare with a lead of 405 runs, after Bandara was taken for runs to end with the expensive innings bowling analysis of 26-3-112-4. Again, Gloucestershire subsided to the Pakistani bowlers, but for once an English-born bowler got his name up on Gloucestershire's scorecard - Alex Gidman was lbw to James Kirtley for 7. Rana took five and Mushtaq three as Gloucestershire collapsed to 179, Ramnaresh Sarwan making 117 of those. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex (10-13 August)

Nottinghamshire (7pts) drew with Middlesex (10pts)

Andrew Harris took four expensive wickets for Nottinghamshire on the first day of the match against Middlesex at Trent Bridge. The match was left hanging in the balance overnight as Middlesex made 325, mostly thanks to 128 from Ed Smith, who made his second century of the first-class season. Ryan Sidebottom was economical, but went wicketless in his 15 overs, while Mark Ealham took two key wickets, of Smith and Owais Shah. Nottinghamshire lost no wicket in the 12 overs before stumps, making 33, but on the second day they quickly lost wickets to the medium pace of Peter Trego, which yielded career-best figures of six for 59.

Graeme Swann's 53 lifted Nottinghamshire to a somewhat respectable 181, but batting was easier than Nottinghamshire had made it look. Owais Shah and Ed Joyce added 225 for the third wicket to prove exactly that. Shah ended with an unbeaten 173, while Joyce got his third century of the season with 101, and Jamie Dalrymple also added 45 before he was lbw to Younis Khan. The wicket of Dalrymple precipitated a declaration, which set Nottinghamshire 530 to win in four sessions. Nottinghamshire, however, batted well in the evening session on the third day, making 107 for no loss, and after eight overs on day four rain set in and the two captains agreed to a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Kent (12-15 August)

Kent (12pts) drew with Hampshire (10pts)

Darren Stevens and Robert Key both passed 1000 first-class runs for the season as they lifted Kent to a competitive total at The Rose Bowl. Stevens top-scored with 101, while Hampshire's Australian all-rounder Andy Bichel took four for 122 - but was thoroughly smacked about by Min Patel and Amjad Khan on the second morning. The pair added 65 for the final wicket to take Kent to a first-innings total of 446. Sean Ervine hit plenty of boundaries in reply, as Hampshire eased to 82 for 1 before play was stopped due to bad weather.

On day three, however, Kent hit back. In 33 fiery overs before lunch, Amjad Khan and Min Patel both took two wickets, and despite more runs from Ervine - who finished with 74 - Hampshire crumbled to 182 for 7 at lunch. However, Andy Bichel and Nic Pothas added 138 for the eighth wicket, as Hampshire eked out 325, with Bichel top-scoring from number nine with 87 off 90 balls. Kent got a good start to their attempt to get quick runs and put a big target up for Hampshire, as they moved to 140 for 4 just before the close of play, but Shane Watson took two quick wickets and Shaun Udal one, and all of a sudden it was up to Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall to save Kent, as they were 153 for 7 overnight. Kemp fell on the fourth morning, as Kent rolled over for 185, setting up a potentially exciting finish with 307 runs to get in 83 overs. A 95-run partnership between Sean Ervine and John Crawley put Hampshire into a good position at 139 for 1, but Hampshire failed to score quickly enough, and three wickets from Simon Cook could not quite force a victory as Hampshire hung on to finish on 241 for 8 and draw the match. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 15 August

County Championship - Division One at 15 August 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 12 6 5 1 8.5 79 174.5
2 Hampshire 12 6 3 3 0.5 62 157.5
3 Sussex 12 4 6 2 0 74 154
4 Warwickshire 11 6 2 3 0 61 153
5 Nottinghamshire 11 5 4 2 0 67 153
6 Middlesex 11 4 4 3 0.5 69 140.5
7 Surrey 12 3 6 3 8.5 73 130.5
8 Gloucestershire 11 1 3 7 0.5 50 75.5
9 Glamorgan 12 0 1 11 0 52 56

Round sixteen

Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire (14-16 August)

Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Warwickshire (2.5pts) by an innings and 151 runs

Ryan Sidebottom dug out the top four, ending with four for 41, and Andrew Harris got exactly the same figures (but from half the overs), as Warwickshire crashed to 156 at Trent Bridge after winning the toss and opting to bat first. And from then on, it only got worse for the visitors from the Midlands. Only Dougie Brown's 34 not out took them past 150, and he then took two wickets as Nottinghamshire looked to go the same way - being 45 for 3. However, David Hussey and Chris Read batted well together, seeing Nottinghamshire to stumps and making fifties. Their 148-run partnership gave Nottinghamshire a healthy lead, but Hussey did not stop there. He made a career-best 232 not out - eventually running out of partners as Nottinghamshire finished on 514, to secure a first-innings lead of 358. Brown took five for 128, but despite bowling the most overs of all he could not stop the rampant Hussey. Nick Knight was injured and could not bat, so with ten men Warwickshire had to score 358 to make Nottinghamshire bat again. It was an impossible task - Alex Loudon and Neil Carter both made scores in the forties, but the team succumbed to 207 and their third innings defeat of the season. Warwickshire were later deducted 0.5 points for a slow over rate on day two. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Sussex (16-17 August)

Sussex (22pts) beat Middlesex (3pts) by an innings and 232 runs

Sussex enjoyed their highest victory all season by defeating Middlesex at Lord's, after Rana Naved-ul-Hasan came in at eight to slash a first class best 139. His seventh-wicket partnership with Michael Yardy was worth 228 runs in just two and a half hours, after the first six wickets had been lost for 199 runs. With Mark Davis scoring a quickfire 50 as well, Sussex went to stumps on day one with the score 522 for 9 - with the run rate at just over five an over. Middlesex' Stuart Clark got Davis out with the fourth ball of the morning, but from then on everything went downhill. Once again, just like against Gloucestershire the previous week, Rana and Mushtaq Ahmed went berserk on the opposing batting line-ups, as Rana removed the top three batsmen and Mushtaq the next three as Middlesex crashed to 87 for 6. Then, after a brief period of calm where Ben Scott and Chris Peploe added 23 runs, Robin Martin-Jenkins broke through and Middlesex lost three wickets for three runs. Middlesex finished their first innings on 128 - Martin-Jenkins taking the last wicket to end with four for 31 - and were forced to follow on, trailing by 394 runs on first innings.

Ed Smith and Ben Hutton forged Middlesex' biggest partnership of the match so far, with 45 runs, before the wheels fell off once again. Mushtaq took three wickets in an over, and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan removed four batsmen for ducks in another frantic over, as Middlesex imploded from 45 for 0 to 48 for 7. Smith tried to force Sussex to bat again at least, batting for three hours to make 69, but Mushtaq got another three wickets to end with six for 44, and Middlesex collapsed to a total of 162. Pakistani bowlers took a total of 16 wickets for Sussex - in the last Championship game they had taken 18. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Gloucestershire (16-19 August)

Surrey (12pts) drew with Gloucestershire (11pts)

Surrey's bowlers Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram shared out the first three wickets for only one solitary run, as Gloucestershire looked to collapse in the first innings at The Oval. Alex Gidman fought back, however, making 84 from number six, while Steve Adshead shepherded the tail with 148 not out, and Gloucestershire made their way to 350. Surrey and Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq ended with one for 110 in his first first class game of the season. Surrey initially struggled with the bat, as opener Mark Butcher only made six before he was dismissed by William Rudge.

However, Gloucestershire's bowlers failed to get consistent bite, and Mark Ramprakash smashed his way past 1,000 first class runs in the season with a season-best 192. He was well supported by Graham Thorpe, Jonathan Batty, Ali Brown and Tim Murtagh, who all made scores above 30, and Surrey finished their first innings with a total of 463 in the middle of the first session on day three, with wickets shared out among the Gloucestershire bowlers. Surrey got an early breakthrough by dismissing Craig Spearman, but Kadeer Ali and Ramnaresh Sarwan stuck to the crease, adding 151 for the second wicket. However, three wickets from Nayan Doshi late on day three seemed to turn the game Surrey's way, with Gloucestershire leading by 181 runs for the loss of six wickets at stumps. However, the fourth day's play was rained off, and the match ended in a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 19 August

County Championship - Division One at 19 August 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Sussex 13 5 6 2 0 82 176
2 Nottinghamshire 12 6 4 2 0 75 175
3 Kent 12 6 5 1 8.5 79 174.5
4 Hampshire 12 6 3 3 0.5 62 157.5
5 Warwickshire 12 6 2 4 0.5 64 155.5
6 Middlesex 12 4 4 4 0.5 72 143.5
7 Surrey 13 3 7 3 8.5 81 142.5
8 Gloucestershire 12 1 4 7 0.5 57 86.5
9 Glamorgan 12 0 1 11 0 52 56

Round seventeen

Kent v Middlesex (24-27 August)

Kent (11pts) drew with Middlesex (11pts)

Only 36 overs of play was possible on the first day at St Lawrence Ground, in which Middlesex made 92 runs for the loss of one wicket, that of Ben Hutton. The following day, Kent bowler Amjad Khan added two wickets to his overnight tally of one, as Middlesex crumbled to 136 for 4 on the second morning. However, centuries from Owais Shah and Paul Weekes swung it Middlesex' way, as they declared on 400 for 8. Kent's openers didn't wish to be any worse, with David Fulton making 110 and Robert Key 142, and Darren Stevens supplied with the fifth century of the match, making 106 before being bowled by Nantie Hayward. They declared on 549 for 6, leaving themselves roughly three hours in which to bowl Middlesex out for 149 or less, and four wickets from Min Patel gave them hope as Middlesex crashed to 77 for 6 with more than an hour to play. However, Peter Trego kept out 98 balls for a stolid, unbeaten 3, Paul Weekes got a fifty, and Middlesex saved the draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Hampshire (24-27 August)

Hampshire (11pts) drew with Surrey (10pts)

The first day was rained off, and in only three days of cricket, neither team seemed intent on forcing a result, as the run rate was limited to 3.5 runs an over. On the second day, as the first day of actual play, 406 runs were scored for the loss of twelve wickets. Surrey batted first, and after losing Richard Clinton and Mark Ramprakash early, Scott Newman lashed out in a 65-ball cameo. He hit fifteen fours in his 71 before finally being bowled by Dimitri Mascarenhas. Indeed, the second day was a day of boundaries - a total of 270 runs were hit in boundaries, most of them by Mark Butcher (14 fours in 75) and Jonathan Batty (20 fours in 124). Surrey were eventually all out for 378, Shaun Udal wrapping up the tail with the three last wickets falling in four balls. Mohammad Akram then had both openers caught behind as Hampshire closed on 28 for 2, but Surrey toiled for little reward on the third day, Nic Pothas making an unbeaten century as Hampshire declared on 361 for 6, 17 behind Surrey. Thus, the teams were left with a day to play out their second innings, and on the final day, Udal took five for 65 with his off breaks, but Surrey easily saved the draw by making 302, as captain Butcher did not attempt to risk the four points for a draw with a declaration. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Glamorgan (25-28 August)

Glamorgan (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (3pts) by 322 runs

Glamorgan recorded their first Championship win in thirteen attempts this season at Bristol against fellow relegation candidates Gloucestershire. David Cherry made his second century of the season with changing partners, as he carried his bat to 152 not out at stumps - the total on 350 for 8. Cherry was last out, for 166, as Glamorgan were bowled out for 382 - to pass 350 for only the third time so far this season. Then, David Harrison and Alex Wharf embarked on a 19th-century-like bowling effort - in that they did almost all of the bowling. The seam pairing bowled 33 of the 34 overs, sharing all ten wickets. Gloucestershire crashed to 66 for 8 before Steve Adshead and Jon Lewis added 67 for the ninth wicket, but Whatf had Adshead caught and bowled before bowling William Rudge with the next ball. Robert Croft did not opt to bat again, however, preferring to set a big target for Gloucestershire to chase.

However, Gloucestershire bowled with more effect the second time around, Malinga Bandara taking four for 85 in a marathon 37-over spin bowling effort. Rudge repaired his golden duck, taking a wicket with his first ball of the innings to remove Mark Wallace for another golden duck. However, Rudge was taken for 36 in a six-over spell, and never returned to bowl. Dean Cosker top scored for Glamorgan with 52 from number seven as they made their way to 290, setting Gloucestershire a target of 540 to win - which would have been a first class record chase. Ramnaresh Sarwan attempted it, hitting out well after Kadeer Ali had been dismissed, but he was eventually bowled by Huw Waters for 54. Gloucestershire succumbed to 184 for 5 at stumps, needing to survive another day for the draw. Wharf spoiled that, though, taking four wickets on the fourth morning as Gloucestershire crawled to 217 and a 322-run defeat. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Sussex (25-28 August)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Sussex (8pts) by 101 runs

For once, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan went wicketless on the first day, and thus Sussex lost the match and the Championship lead at Edgbaston. Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott, who had made a career best 152 two weeks previously, now notched up his third first class century of the season as he carried his team to 329 for 7 on the first day. Trott continued on the second, and was eventually last out, having shattered his previous highest score and gone on to make 210 before he was bowled by Rana. Warwickshire were thus all out for 475, Mushtaq Ahmed and James Kirtley taking three wickets each, and Warwickshire got a good start with the ball as Makhaya Ntini and Dougie Brown removed an opener each. However, Michael Yardy, Murray Goodwin and Chris Adams all made solid contributions as Sussex moved to 244 for 3 at stumps on day two.

The third day saw a total of sixteen wickets fall, as Sussex came back to dismiss Warwickshire for a low score afte giving up a 47-run lead on first innings. Goodwin made 150, his fourth century of the season, as Sussex scored 428, while most of the Warwickshire bowlers got wickets but conceded plenty of runs in the process. Then, Rana set out to repair his poor first innings effort, taking four wickets in 15 overs as Warwickshire could only muster 180 - and that was mostly thanks to a 50-run partnership between Trevor Frost and Brown. Sussex needed 228 to win, but collapsed. Wickets were shared out among the entire Warwickshire team, James Anyon getting the most with four for 33, and Makhaya Ntini, Neil Carter and Alex Loudon also got two each, to see Sussex all out for 126. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 28 August

County Championship - Division One at 28 August 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Kent 13 6 6 1 8.5 86 185.5
2 Sussex 14 5 6 3 0 90 184
3 Warwickshire 13 7 2 4 0.5 72 177.5
4 Nottinghamshire 12 6 4 2 0 75 175
5 Hampshire 13 6 4 3 0.5 69 168.5
6 Middlesex 13 4 5 4 0.5 79 154.5
7 Surrey 14 3 8 3 8.5 87 152.5
8 Gloucestershire 13 1 4 8 0.5 60 89.5
9 Glamorgan 13 1 1 11 0 60 78

Round eighteen

Glamorgan v Nottinghamshire (30 August-2 September)

Nottinghamshire (19pts) beat Glamorgan (3pts) by eight wickets

Glamorgan were firmly sent back to earth after recording their first Championship win of the season the previous week, as it only took Nottinghamshire's bowlers 48 overs to wrap up their first innings after Glamorgan won the toss and batted. Glamorgan's number five Michael Powell made 62 as the only Glamorgan batsman to pass 25, but left-armer Greg Smith got him and three others out to finish with four for 28 off 17 overs. Glamorgan's final total was only 151, and Nottinghamshire matched that for the loss of only two wickets at the close of the first day, despite losing opener Jason Gallian for a duck. On the second, only 33 overs of play were possible, but Nottinghamshire still marched on to 231 for 2 before Darren Bicknell's dismissal for 123 precipitated a collapse. The last eight wickets fell for 52 runs, as Robert Croft took three wickets and Dean Cosker four either side of stumps on the second day.

Nottinghamshire defended a 132-run lead on first innings, and their bowlers made early inroads, however, as Glamorgan crashed to 94 for 5 with Powell and Alex Wharf at the crease. The pair fought back, adding 118 in just under three hours, as Glamorgan at least gave Nottinghamshire something to chase. Four wickets from Mark Ealham in the late hours of the third day's play, though, reduced Glamorgan to 290 for 9 at the close, and Wharf added 17 on the fourth morning with Huw Waters (who recorded an unbeaten 24-ball duck) before he was dismissed by Andrew Harris for 113, his highest first class score. Despite Wharf's century, Nottinghamshire were set a relatively low target of 176, and fifties from Jason Gallian and Russell Warren carried Nottinghamshire past the target and onto the top of the Championship table with eight wickets in hand. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Middlesex (30 August-2 September)

Gloucestershire (10pts) drew with Middlesex (9pts)

Gloucestershire recovered well from last week's defeat at the hands of Glamorgan, to give Middlesex a decent fight and take the most points from a drawn game at Bristol. The hosts batted first, and after losing Craig Spearman and Ramnaresh Sarwan early, Gloucestershire fought back with three partnerships worth more than 60. Alex Gidman, Steve Adshead and Malinga Bandara all recorded fifties; the Sri Lankan Bandara, batting at eight, took the liberty to hit two sixes in an 89-ball 70. For Middlesex, Alan Richardson and Jamie Dalrymple took four wickets each, but gave up more than four runs an over in the process as Glamorgan made 333 in 92.2 overs. Middlesex batted to stumps on day one without loss, but William Rudge removed the top three to set them back slightly. Wickets continued to fall, with Malinga Bandara taking four of them, and Middlesex crashed to 248 for 9 before a last wicket partnership between Melvyn Betts and Stuart Clark took them to 297 before Bandara dismissed Betts lbw to end with five for 71.

Betts and Clark then shared five of the ten Gloucestershire wickets to fall, interrupting Gloucestershire's innings rather regularly, but not preventing four partnerships of above 50. Kadeer Ali top-scored with 61, while Mark Hardinges was stranded on 58 to lift the hosts to a total 287, which set Middlesex 324 in five hours to win. Gloucestershire got a breakthrough in the very first over, as Ed Smith hit two fours off Jon Lewis before being caught behind after four deliveries. With Owais Shah dismissed by Bandara, Middlesex went into defensive mode, and eventually the match was declared a draw with Middlesex 121 short of the winning target. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Warwickshire (30 August-1 September)

Hampshire (22pts) beat Warwickshire (4pts) by an innings and 86 runs

Hampshire dominated proceedings against Warwickshire at The Rose Bowl, occupying the crease for a day and a half to amass 576 runs in their first innings. The top three of James Adams, Sean Ervine and John Crawley set the tone with fifties, and when Crawley departed for 60 the score had moved to 279 for 3. Jonathan Trott and Makhaya Ntini shared three wickets before the end of the day, leaving Hampshire 353 for 6 overnight, but Shane Watson and Dimitri Mascarenhas shared a mammoth 234-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Watson hit a career-best 203 not out, while Mascarenhas took three hours for an unbeaten 102, the first century of his season, before Shaun Udal declared. Warwickshire stumbled early on, falling to 21 for 2, but an unbeaten 97 from Nick Knight lifted them to 145 for 4 at the close of play on day two.

Knight could not save Warwickshire alone, though, and Warwickshire lost sixteen wickets on the third day to crumble to an innings defeat. Knight got his century, ending with 116, but no other batsman passed 30, as they were all out for 258 in the first innings. They were asked to follow on 318 behind, and did rather well initially, getting the score to 110 for 1 after two hours. Then, Jonathan Trott and Ian Westwood fell in quick succession, leaving Jamie Troughton to try and tie together a match-saving innings with the lower order. He made a two-hour 76 before being ninth out, caught off Shaun Udal's bowling, ending Warwickshire's resistance. No further runs were added for the tenth wicket, as Makhaya Ntini was bowled by Udal, and Warwickshire ended on 232 all out - 86 runs short of making Hampshire bat again. Hampshire captain Udal finished with a second innings analysis of 22-8-44-6, after only one wicket in the first innings. The win left Hampshire briefly on top of the Championship, before Nottinghamshire took over the following day. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 2 September

County Championship - Division One at 2 September 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 13 7 4 2 0 80 194
2 Hampshire 14 7 4 3 0.5 77 190.5
3 Kent 13 6 6 1 8.5 86 185.5
4 Sussex 14 5 6 3 0 90 184
5 Warwickshire 14 7 2 5 0.5 76 181.5
6 Middlesex 14 4 6 4 0.5 84 163.5
7 Surrey 14 3 8 3 8.5 87 152.5
8 Gloucestershire 14 1 5 8 0.5 66 99.5
9 Glamorgan 14 1 1 12 0 63 81

Round nineteen

Nottinghamshire v Gloucestershire (5-6 September)

Nottinghamshire (20pts) beat Gloucestershire (1.5pts) by an innings and 64 runs

Ten wickets fell on the first day at Trent Bridge, and twenty on the second, as Nottinghamshire recorded a victory to extend their hold on Division One of the County Championship. Batting first, they lost openers Jason Gallian and Darren Bicknell early on to be 16 for 2, and after a 27-run third-wicket stand Steve Kirby trapped Younis Khan lbw for 12. However, Russell Warren and David Hussey rebuilt, and Hussey went on to smash a four-and-a-half-hour 157, his third Championship century of the season, as Nottinghamshire made a total of 336. The first day's play ended when the last Nottinghamshire wicket fell, after 82.4 overs, and Gloucestershire were then penalised 1.5 points for their slow over rate.

Gloucestershire's batting, however, gave below-average scores. Their first innings lasted for 35 overs, Mark Ealham taking five for 31 as the visitors were asked to follow on. Kadeer Ali carried his bat and made 55 not out in their all out total of 103. Batting again, they crashed to 98 for 8, Ealham again taking four wickets, before Jon Lewis cut loose. Gloucestershire required 135 runs to make Nottinghamshire bat again, and Lewis decided that the best way of making that was to smash the ball about. He hit eight fours and three sixes for a 27-ball 55, before the cameo was ended by Hussey holding a catch off his bat. The quickfire innings lifted Gloucestershire to 169 - still 64 short of making Nottinghamshire bat again. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Glamorgan (7-8 September)

Sussex (20pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by nine wickets

David Hemp made 71 as Glamorgan made their way to a relatively competitive total of 255 in 77.3 overs on the first day, while Mushtaq Ahmed took five for 89 and James Kirtley four for 42 in response. When Glamorgan bowled, Alex Wharf and Dean Cosker took a wicket each, as Sussex worked their way to 70 for 2, with the match finely poised at the end of the first day. However, nineteen wickets tumbled on the second day, as Sussex took the victory one would expect from the relative table positions of the two sides. They lost Ian Ward for 48 early on in the day, but fifties from Murray Goodwin and Chris Adams propelled them to a total of 317, a lead of 62. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan then made up for his wicketless first innings effort by having two men caught behind and one bowled, as Glamorgan crashed to 22 for 3, only to see a small rebuilding effort. But a good bowling effort from Mushtaq and Rana saw Glamorgan crash from 73 for 4 to 78 for 9 as four batsmen were out for ducks. Opener David Cherry was last out, for 39, as Glamorgan were bowled out for 96 in just 28 overs - Rana taking five for 41 and Mushtaq five for 29. Sussex chased 35 to win with ease, losing only Ward in a nine-wicket victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Kent (7-10 September)

Middlesex (12pts) drew with Kent (9pts)

Former India A leg-spinner Yogesh Golwalkar took three wickets in each innings and helped Middlesex to dominance on points in his first first class game in England, though he had played two non-first class games for Essex Second XI in May. Kent had won the toss and batted first, struggling to 249 for 9 despite 94 from Darren Stevens, but Justin Kemp and Dane Amjad Khan added 135 for the last wicket before Kemp was bowled by Jamie Dalrymple for 102. Middlesex still went past Kent's total of 384, however, amassing a lead as Ben Hutton and Owais Shah made centuries, and Kent's bowling was woefully unpenetrative. Only Kemp got more than two wickets, and he got numbers eight, nine and ten in the batting order. Middlesex captain Hutton batted for more than six hours for a career-best 152, while Shah's 128 was his seventh Championship century of the season. Dalrymple and Ed Joyce added fifties as Middlesex made their way to 550 for 9 at stumps on day three. Golwalkar took three wickets on the final day, but it wasn't enough, as Kent made it to 192 for 7 to save the draw - Andrew Hall grinding out 26 in the last 51 minutes with Niall O'Brien before conditions stopped play. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Surrey (10-13 September)

Warwickshire (10pts) drew with Surrey (8pts)

Almost one and a half days was lost to rain at Edgbaston, but when play finally got underway, Surrey tried their best to force a result - needing a win in this match to avoid losing too much ground to Middlesex in the relegation battle. As a result, seven of the dismissals were outfield catches, as Surrey were bowled out for 225 in the 60 overs possible on day two. Hosts Warwickshire started strongly, Ian Westwood and Nick Knight adding 93 for the first wicket, but Jade Dernbach had two men bowled as Surrey started to eye a hope. Scores of 60 from Alex Loudon and Michael Powell, along with 117 from Knight, saw Warwickshire to 338, a lead of 113. Losing three wickets early, Surrey went on the defensive in order not to lose further points, and 127 from Mark Ramprakash along with solid contributions from Rikki Clarke and wicket-keeper Jonathan Batty lifted them to 313 for 5. Surrey declared when Ramprakash was dismissed, giving Warwickshire 11 overs to bat, and Knight and Westwood batted out without loss to draw the game.

Table at 13 September

County Championship - Division One at 13 September 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 14 8 4 2 0 86 214
2 Sussex 15 6 6 3 0 96 204
3 Kent 14 6 7 1 8.5 91 194.5
4 Warwickshire 15 7 3 5 0.5 82 191.5
5 Hampshire 14 7 4 3 0.5 77 190.5
6 Middlesex 15 4 7 4 0.5 92 175.5
7 Surrey 15 3 9 3 8.5 91 160.5
8 Gloucestershire 15 1 5 9 2 69 101
9 Glamorgan 15 1 1 13 0 67 84.5

Round twenty

Kent v Nottinghamshire (14-17 September)

Nottinghamshire (20pts) beat Kent (3pts) by 214 runs

Nottinghamshire won the County Championship title with a victory over Kent, thanks to an overnight declaration from their opponents, two big innings from Jason Gallian and a second-innings six-wicket-haul from Andrew Harris. Nottinghamshire knew that 12 points, i.e. a draw and the maximum amount of bonus points, would secure the title, and their batting set about making 400 with ease. Darren Bicknell and Gallian opened the batting for the visitors, and they were together for nearly three hours, sharing an opening stand of 157. Simon Cook finally broke through the defences, and two quick wickets from Dane Amjad Khan contributed as Nottinghamshire were set back to 194 for 4. However, the former England wicket-keeper Chris Read made 75, while Gallian moved to 191 not out, as Nottinghamshire amassed 397 for 5 on the first day.

The second day's play was interrupted by rain, but Kent did manage to take the wicket of Gallian - he was run out for 199, his second score of 199 this season. However, 72 from Mark Ealham put the visitors firmly in control, and they declared on 486 for 8. David Fulton and Robert Key fought back for Kent, adding 66 for the first wicket, but a burst of wickets from Graeme Swann and Mark Ealham changed the picture somewhat, as Kent lost four wickets for 19 runs and were 108 for 5. Youngsters Neil Dexter and Niall O'Brien kept their cool, however, sharing a 129-run stand for the sixth wicket as they both notched up half-centuries. Kent declared overnight, and got immediate rewards when Dexter dismissed David Hussey for a golden duck, but the next 24 overs saw runs hit at a rapid rate. Gallian made 74 not out, sharing a 116-run stand with Chris Read, and Nottinghamshire raced to 170 for 3 before declaring. Set 420 to win in about five hours, Kent surrendered to Andrew Harris, who got six wickets for 76. South African Martin van Jaarsveld made 64 for Kent, but he and O'Brien were the only two to bat for more than half an hour, and in the end Nottinghamshire earned the victory and their first County Championship title since 1989 (Cricinfo scorecard)

Glamorgan v Hampshire (15-18 September)

Hampshire (21pts) beat Glamorgan (4pts) by 75 runs

The first day of this match was rained off, and so Glamorgan's last match of the season was effectively reduced to a three-day one. They still managed to lose, however, capping their Championship season with their fourteenth loss in sixteen matches to cement their last place in the table. When the match got underway, the entire Hampshire batting order made contributions, and an innings including half-centuries from James Adams, Jono McLean, Simon Katich and Dimitri Mascarenhas, saw them to a total of 350. Australia leg spinner Shane Warne hit three sixes in a 17-minute 24, while Glamorgan captain Robert Croft snared five wickets for 103 runs.

The returning Shane Warne, fresh from taking 40 wickets in the 2005 Ashes, took four for 50 in Glamorgan's innings, as Glamorgan faltered from 151 for 4 to 249 all out, and the third day's play ended with Simon Katich and Sean Ervine plundering runs in return. An opening stand of 117 was achieved quickly, and Warne then clobbered two sixes in a nine-ball 15, as Hampshire added 218 for 7 in just 32 overs before declaring. Croft completed another five-wicket-haul, but still conceded 57 in ten overs. Set 320 to win, Glamorgan went about it positively, as Croft led from the front with a well-paced 90. Once he was caught behind off Sean Ervine, however, Glamorgan needed 94 for the last three wickets, and the lower order succumbed to the Zimbabwean Ervine. Wicket-keeper and number eight Mark Wallace was left not out on 33, as Glamorgan posted a total of 244, while Ervine finished with five for 60 in the second innings, his best bowling figures of the season thus far. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Table at 18 September

County Championship - Division One at 18 September 2005
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 15 9 4 2 0 92 234
2 Hampshire 15 8 4 3 0.5 84 211.5
3 Sussex 15 6 6 3 0 96 204
4 Kent 15 6 7 2 8.5 94 197.5
5 Warwickshire 15 7 3 5 0.5 82 191.5
6 Middlesex 15 4 7 4 0.5 92 175.5
7 Surrey 15 3 9 3 8.5 91 160.5
8 Gloucestershire 15 1 5 9 2 69 101
9 Glamorgan 16 1 1 14 0 71 88.5

Round twenty-one

Hampshire v Nottinghamshire (21-23 September)

Hampshire (22pts) beat Nottinghamshire (2pts) by an innings and 188 runs

Hampshire were put in to bat by Nottinghamshire, who had won the Championship four days earlier. However, Hampshire's batsmen all put in above 50 scores after Sean Ervine was bowled for 9, James Adams, John Crawley, Simon Katich and Nic Pothas all exceeded 50, and Crawley went on to make 150 not out at the end of the first day - his highest score of the season. Boosted by 75 extras - 38 coming in no-balls, of which 18 were conceded by Mark Footitt alone - Hampshire ended their innings voluntarily on 714 for 5 - a team record - having hit 290 runs for one wicket in 42.3 second-day overs. Captain Shane Warne declared when Mascarenhas got his century, only to later discover that Crawley - who had gone from 200 to 300 with 58 balls - had been denied of the Hampshire highest innings score by five runs, despite a career-best 311 not out Dick Moore's record from 1937 thus remained. When Hampshire bowled, spinner Shaun Udal celebrated his England call-up with four wickets for 39 runs, while Mascarenhas continued with his all-round effort, taking his second five-wicket-haul of the season as Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 213 shortly before the close on day two. Warne chose to bowl eight balls, conceding six runs. Stephen Fleming top scored for the visitors with 42, as they were asked to follow on - 501 runs behind Hampshire.

Nottinghamshire needed 269 to avoid suffering the highest defeat of the Championship season, and amid the rain breaks at the Rose Bowl, they passed that score with one wicket in hand, thanks to 97 from Darren Bicknell and a 49-ball cameo from Chris Read which yielded 63 runs. Captain Stephen Fleming lasted four minutes at the crease, hitting three fours, a single and a dot ball before he was caught by Andre Adams off Udal. Udal took another four-wicket-haul, but conceded 70 in 11.5 overs, and even Warne was expensive, conceding 67 in thirteen overs. Nottinghamshire were eventually bowled out for 313, but Hampshire finished 2.5 points behind Nottinghamshire in the Championship - despite the same win-loss record and two victories in their head-to-head matches. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Kent (21-23 September)

Sussex (20pts) beat Kent (5pts) by eight wickets

Sussex' three main bowlers won them the game at Hove against Kent - James Kirtley took seven for 103, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan six for 124, and Mushtaq Ahmed five for 173 in the match, as Sussex took an eight-wicket victory. Sussex took three wickets in the first 45 minutes, courtesy of Kirtley and Rana, and for only 28 runs in reply. Matthew Walker and Darren Stevens added 52 together for the fourth wicket, but it was the half-centuries from Min Patel and Niall O'Brien - his second in successive matches - that carried Kent past 200. They finished on 257, with Kirtley and Naved-ul-Hasan taking four wickets each, while Mushtaq had to be content with two for 81 from nearly 28 overs. Sussex, however, ground out 47 for 2 wickets in the 23 remaining overs, the Kent spinners Patel and Jamie Tredwell keeping them from scoring.

On the second day, Sussex accelerated, but after five wickets from Patel they were 192 for 8, still trailing by 65. However, Mushtaq forged partnerships of 86 and 74 with Luke Wright and James Kirtley respectively, hitting an unbeaten 90 himself as Sussex ended on 348. Kent trailed by 89, and in the second innings Robert Key hit eleven fours in a two-hour 84, but he was dismissed by Robin Martin-Jenkins just before the close of the scond day's play to leave Kent with a lead of 53 with seven wickets in hand. Kirtley, Rana and Mushtaq removed the last seven wickets for 94 runs on day three, leaving Sussex 148 to chase, which they did inside two hours thanks to half-centuries from Carl Hopkinson and Michael Yardy. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Surrey v Middlesex (21-24 September)

Surrey (20pts) beat Middlesex (6pts) by an innings and 39 runs

Middlesex won the toss and batted first at The Oval in this relegation clash, where Surrey needed to win by 15 points to avoid relegation. After half-centuries from Owais Shah, Ben Hutton and Ed Joyce, however, Middlesex were 200 for 4, and Joyce put on a fifth-wicket partnership of 174 with Scott Styris. Styris hit thirteen fours and a six in his 100 not out, his first century in nine matches for Middlesex in 2005, and once Styris had hit his century Hutton declared the Middlesex innings closed on 404 for 5 - ensuring that Middlesex got all five batting points and Surrey only got one bowling point. Surrey thus needed to score 400 runs in 130 overs for only two wickets if they were to survive in Division One. However, six minutes into the innings, captain Mark Butcher was run out for 5, and Rikki Clarke went shortly afterwards. Surrey closed on 59 for 2, needing 341 without further loss to avoid the drop. Middlesex got the wicket they needed on the second morning, with Yogesh Golwalkar dismissing Scott Newman lbw for 51, leaving Surrey to relegation. Despite that, they accumulated runs to end the second day on 462 for 4, although 33 overs were bowled by Shah, Hutton and Joyce. Mark Ramprakash reached 200 not out by the close, his tenth first class double century.

Surrey passed 600 on the third day, before Shah picked up his second wicket of the match, removing Ramprakash for 252 - ending an all-time record fifth-wicket partnership of 318. Azhar Mahmood, who had shared the stand with Ramprakash, went on to make 204 not out before Surrey declared on 686 for 7 - before leg-spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Ian Salisbury shared six wickets between them to bowl Middlesex out for 243 and to record an innings victory - to no avail, as Midldesex finished one point ahead in the final table. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Warwickshire v Gloucestershire (21-24 September)

Warwickshire (18pts) beat Gloucestershire (3pts) by 181 runs

Warwickshire came back from 18 for 3 and then 90 for 5 to win their last Championship game of the season. A two-hour partnership yielding 70 runs between Jamie Troughton and Trevor Frost took Warwickshire past 150, before Sri Lankan Malinga Bandara removed four of the last five wickets, and Warwickshire ended on 208 all out. However, early wickets taken by Neil Carter and Dougie Brown sent Gloucestershire to 29 for 3 at the close of play on day one. Warwickshire continued to chip away on the second day, as five bowlers shared the remaining seven wickets, and Gloucestershire were bowled out for 118. South African-born first class debutant Grant Hodnett was the only one to pass 20 for Gloucestershire, taking three hours before falling one short of a half-century on debut. Ian Westwood did manage a fifty, hitting 55 in a 94-run stand with Nick Knight, and Warwickshire closed on 197 for 3. Despite four wickets from Malinga Bandara, Warwickshire managed 320 for 9 before declaring.

Gloucestershire attempted to chase a total of 411 to win, but after an opening stand of 80 Naqqash Tahir removed both openers in quick succession, and Gloucestershire closed on 97 for 2. Off spinner Alex Loudon then celebrated his call-up to the England team to tour Pakistan the following winter by taking six for 66 as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 229. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Final table

2005 County Championship - Division One
Pos Team Pld W D L Pen BP Pts
1 Nottinghamshire 16 9 4 3 0 94 236
2 Hampshire 16 9 4 3 0.5 92 233.5
3 Sussex 16 7 6 3 0 102 224
4 Warwickshire 16 8 3 5 0.5 86 209.5
5 Kent 16 6 7 3 8.5 99 202.5
6 Middlesex 16 4 7 5 0.5 98 181.5
7 Surrey 16 4 9 3 8.5 97 180.5
8 Gloucestershire 16 1 5 10 2 72 104
9 Glamorgan 16 1 1 14 0 71 88.5

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