There was both ecstasy and agony for Warriors batsman Colin Ackermann, who was left just four short of a double century as Leicestershire were bowled out for 427 in the County Championship.
Ackermann’s 196 came off 350 balls, with 25 fours and two sixes. He got good support from No 10 batsman Gavin Griffith, who advanced from 15 overnight to 40, but the No 11, Mohammad Abbas, was able to hold out for just 18 balls. Leicestershire have much to be grateful for – only four batsmen passed 16 runs in the innings.
Ackermann is on a roll; he had a good Sunfoil Series, too, ending as the seventh-best batsman with 660 runs from 12 innings at an average of 66, hitting what was then his highest first-class score of 187 not out.
Middlesex were then bowled out for 233, leaving Leicestershire in a strong position.
Dale Steyn, meanwhile, can look back on a mission accomplished as he snapped up a fifth Yorkshire wicket to notch his first five-for since August 2016, when he was on the rampage against New Zealand.
He had a good workout ahead of the Proteas’ Sri Lanka tour, bowling 29 overs and conceding 66 runs at just over two an over. Yorkshire closed with 350.
Dane Vilas, who took over the captaincy of Lancashire when Liam Livingstone was called up to the England Lions, could only look on in horror as his team collapsed spectacularly.
After an opening stand of 77, in reply to Worcestershire’s first innings of 247, young Ed Barnard tore through the batting lineup, taking five wickets. None of his victims was able to score a run off him. He finished with a tally of 5-34 off 16.
Keaton Jennings remained steadfast to score 55, but below the openers, Joe Mennie – the New Zealander who played a Test against South Africa in 2016 – was the highest scorer with 17. There were a total of six ducks. Vilas scored three as Lancs were bowled out for 130.
Worcestershire had 361-4 by close of play on the second day, a lead of 478.
Ackermann’s Warriors teammate Simon Harmer ended with 4-78 off 32 overs as Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 380. Essex responded poorly, accumulating just 206 in 59 overs. Notts were 35-1 when time was called.