............Justin Langer continued his outstanding county season with 145 at nearly a run a ball in Somerset's 87-run one-day victory over Middlesex on Sunday. Langer was well supported by Cameron White, who made 61 as the visitors piled on 332 at Lord's.
It was Langer's second limited-overs century in the tournament and he is now second on the county one-day run tally for 2007, and third in the first-class list. His effort against Middlesex took 149 balls and he shared in a 136-run stand with White.
Just when the home side appeared to be setting a platform to launch the big chase through a 52-run partnership between Eoin Morgan and David Nash, White became the hero with the ball, removing both batsmen and finishing with 3 for 37.
On the same day at Worcester, Phil Jaques turned his poor form around to register his second hundred of the season. Jaques made 102 but was overshadowed by Vikram Solanki as they added 223 for the first wicket. Solanki remained unbeaten on 144 as Worcestershire cruised to 2 for 307 from 46 overs, easily overhauling Warwickshire's 6 for 303.
It was not such a memorable match for Doug Bollinger, however, whose first season with Worcestershire has not gone to plan so far. Bollinger took 1 for 63 from his ten overs, two days after he was taken for 75 from eight overs against Durham at Chester-le-Street. Kabir Ali, who has played Test cricket for England, also struggled and cost 94 from ten overs as Durham's batsmen - including Michael Di Venuto with 49 - blasted their way to 4 for 332. Jaques and Solanki could not save the day and Worcestershire lost by 143 runs.
Hampshire confirmed the value of having two of Australia's best bowlers as they skittled Glamorgan for 146 to win by 137 runs at Swansea. Shane Warne - who earlier had enjoyed a cameo of 18 from nine balls - claimed 2 for 32 but it was Stuart Clark's devastating opening spell that did for Glamorgan. Clark, who finished with 4 for 25, took three early wickets as the home side spiralled to 7 for 49. Glamorgan only climbed to 146 through some late hitting from Simon Jones and Dean Cosker.
Clark and Warne were also effective in the four-day match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston earlier in the week but Hampshire's batsmen let them down. Clark collected 3 for 65 and Warne 2 for 47 as they dismissed the home team for 262 in reply to Hampshire's 169. Hampshire eventually escaped with a draw but found themselves sixth on the County Championship table for Division One.
Marcus North signed off from his impressive stint with Gloucestershire, scoring his third first-class century from five games. North's 109 helped his side to 394 against Northamptonshire at Gloucester and he followed up with 2 for 23 as the visitors struggled to 223. North, who is Gloucestershire's leading run-scorer in first-class and one-day cricket this season, will be replaced next week by his Western Australia team-mate Ben Edmondson.
At Hove, Stuart Law compiled his second century of 2007 as his team, Lancashire, finished with a slight edge over Sussex. Law made 119 and Brad Hodge scored 43 as Lancashire posted 330 in the first innings.
Both batsmen failed in the second, however, and despite a nine-wicket match from Lancashire's star bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, the match ended in a draw. Although nine players in their squad boast Test or ODI experience - Law, Hodge, Muralitharan, Andrew Flintoff, Sajid Mahmood, James Anderson, Dominic Cork, Mal Loye and Glen Chapple - Lancashire are third-last on the Division One table.
A bold declaration by Langer backfired spectacularly at Lord's. He called Somerset's innings closed at 8 for 50, in an effort to expose Middlesex on a damp pitch. However, the home side clearly had not read the script and ploughed along to 252. That left Somerset with a hefty first-innings deficit and despite a better effort on the third day - White chipped in with 77 - Middlesex took the points and leapfrogged Somerset into second place on the Division Two table.
In first place are Nottinghamshire, who narrowly missed another victory against Leicestershire at Oakham. Set 377 to win, Nottinghamshire were on course thanks in part to David Hussey, who continued his prolific form with 79 off 65 balls.
But Hussey, who made his name leading enormous chases at Victoria, was caught behind and the visitors soon had little option but to play out a draw. Hussey now has 737 runs at 81.88 this season and is second only to Mark Ramprakash on the county run-tally.