After surrendering a 23-run lead to Nottinghamshire, Somerset finished Day 2 in a commanding position, leading by 245 runs with six wickets remaining, and in a strong position to set a fourth innings target in excess of 400.
At 230-9, Surrey appeared to be facing a small deficit against Lancashire, who scored 274. However, a 130-run partnership between Daniel Worrall (51) and Sean Abbott (87 off 69) ensured a lead of 86 runs, and with Lancashire reduced to 27-4 in the third innings, the partnership made a significant impact.
Kent’s lead against Northamptonshire grew to 313 thanks to a 318-run partnership between Tawanda Muyeye (179) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (271*). Muyeye was dismissed late in the day, but Bell Drummond remained unblemished and will likely score a century tomorrow.
Durham declared with confidence at 517-6 thanks to Oliver Robinson’s 167*, but Leicestershire’s Colin Ackermann responded in kind with 104*, with the hosts trailing by 182 runs but having 6 wickets in hand. This puts both parties in an equal position at Stumps on Day 2.
Leus du Plooy (159*) and Wayne Madsen (143) scored centuries to give Derbyshire a 137-run lead over Worcestershire, which will only increase tomorrow as they still have five wickets remaining.
After Yorkshire’s three centuries brought them to 550-9d, including Finlay Bean’s 114, George Hill’s 101, and Matthew Revis’s 104*, Gloucestershire did not have a strong response, but Miles Hammond’s six-laden 84* helped them reach 232-5.
Matt Henry’s 6-59 in Taunton limited Nottinghamshire’s lead to 23 runs in response to Somerset’s meager total of 163. The batsmen of Somerset’s second innings took full advantage of the new start afforded by the interval.
Simon Harmer’s five-wicket haul against Warwickshire, 5-65, enabled Essex to take a 299-run first-innings lead and implement the follow-on by bowling Warwickshire out for 158 runs in the first innings. Warwickshire trailed by 225 runs by the conclusion of Day 2 and Simon Harmer had taken another wicket in the second innings, establishing his dominance in this match.
Liam Dawson, who scored 141 to propel Hampshire to 419, followed that up with a six-wicket haul of 6-38, causing Middlesex to collapse to 142-8. Hampshire is in the driver’s seat with a 277-run advantage, and Middlesex will need a special effort to turn this around.