Bob Willis Trophy Roundup. Essex march on

After three rounds of the Bob Willis Trophy, only one side has a 100% winning record. Reigning county champions Essex made it three from three after a thrilling victory over Sussex at Hove.

The new English red ball competition is proving so popular that there is a good chance it will stay for next season.

Despite most games being hampered by the wet weather, there was still three matches that ended in victory.

Essex maintain their 100% start

The pick of these was Essex’s victory over Sussex. The visitors squeezing over the line by three wickets thanks to 60 from Dan Lawrence. Two wickets in three balls for Mitch Claydon had Essex wobbling but Paul Walter and Aaron Beard saw them home.

Also, in the South Group Hampshire recorded a comprehensive innings victory over Surrey at Arundel. The hosts bowled out Surrey for just 74 to win by an innings and 52 runs. Hero for Hampshire was fast bowler James Fuller who claimed a hat-trick- the first in the competition.

Middlesex had to settle for a share of the spoils with Kent at Canterbury. Despite a late declaration in the hope of pulling of a fourth day upset, Kent never went for their target. After Middlesex declared on 169-1 with Max Holden (72) and Sam Robson (82*) Kent made no attempt to go for victory.

The Pears make it two from three

Worcestershire remain top of the Central Group after defeating Northamptonshire. Worcestershire’s Tom Fell made an emotional century, his first since embarking on his battle with testicular cancer five years ago.

Set 263 to win in 68 overs Northamptonshire were dismissed for 184 with Dillon Penningon taking three wickets.

Somerset were cruelly denied by the bad weather at Edgbaston after on 15.4 overs were bowled on the final day. They started the day needing only four wickets to win but were thwarted by the heavens.

In the other match played in the group Glamorgan and Gloucestershire finished in a draw.

Rain ruins matches in the North Group

Derbyshire remain top of the pile in the North Group after drawing with Yorkshire. Derbyshire batted through the day to finish on 300-7 in response to Yorkshire’s 400-6 declared. Anuj Dal, Matt Critchley and Billy Godleman all hit half centuries to help Derbyshire to three batting bonus points.

Although having to follow on against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, Lancashire remain in third. The visitors were bowled out for 173 and asked to follow on. It was a different story second time around as openers Alex Davies (69) and Keaton Jennings (37) batted throughout the day.

Durham remain bottom of the group despite both sides trying to force a result. Having forfeited an innings each Leicestershire were set 292 to win in 82 overs. Inevitably rain had the last word with the game ending in a draw.

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