Moeen Ali gave his hopes of an England recall a shot in the arm with a blistering all-round display as Worcestershire exerted complete control over Yorkshire.
Moeen has not played a Test all summer but has been a squad member during the ongoing series against India and put his hand up for next week’s fourth Test in compelling fashion on day three of the
Specsavers County Championship clash at Scarborough.
He first turned his overnight score of 107 into 219 – setting a new second-wicket record stand of 294 in tandem with Daryl Mitchell (178).
A tense finale was set in motion at the Oval, where Surrey or Lancashire could both emerge victorious from their day/night clash.
Amar Virdi could emerge as the key men, having taken three of the five Lancashire wickets to fall as the Red Rose took 177 off a target of 271.
The batting hopes lie with Steven Croft and debutant Josh Bohannon, who built an unbeaten half-century stand under the lights.
Essex look ready to launch a bold bid for a final day victory against Somerset at Taunton.
The hosts were bowled out for 202 in their second innings, Simon Harmer with four wickets, leaving a stiff winning target of 336.
But Essex closed with a strong foundation of 147 for one at stumps, Nick Browne (75 not out) and Tom Westley (43no) helming the chase.
At the Ageas Bowl, Hampshire left Nottinghamshire needing a notional 511.
England spinner Liam Dawson struck twice as the away side reached 128 for four. Tom Alsop had earlier been dismissed for 99, missing out on a second first-class century when he fell to Mark Footitt.
Durham wasted no time wrapping up an innings-and-30-run success over Glamorgan in the morning, Chris Rushworth taking the three required wickets.
That took the experienced seamer less than half-an-hour as he finished with figures of five for 28 at Sophia Gardens.
Kent’s South Africa-born pair of Heino Kuhn and Sean Dickson led the victory charge against Leicestershire.
Coming together at 38 for two they put on an unbeaten partnership of 215 to wrap things up at Grace Road. Dickson made 134no with Kuhn four short of his ton.
Derbyshire are set to scrap for a draw on day four at Sussex, with all 10 wickets in hand and the winning line a distant 399 runs away.
The visitors added 74 for the last five first-innings wickets before Sussex raced to 353 for six and declared in just 61 overs.
Phil Salt’s 148 did much of the damage – including 14 fours and five sixes – but a seven-over evening blast at the openers yielded nothing more than one run off the bat and five extras.
Middlesex followed on at Northamptonshire but left the game firmly in the balance with some gutsy batting from Max Holden (94) and James Harris (79no).
The pair put on 121 for the seventh wicket to leave their side 374 for nine – 215 in front and all results in play.