Riki Wessels, Peter Siddle and Ajmal Shahzad combined to inspire a Nottinghamshire win over Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge as the chasing pack kept the pressure on LV= Division One leaders Yorkshire.
Nottinghamshire had a first-innings lead of only 11 runs, with five wickets remaining at start of play on the final day.
But against his old club, Wessels (158) cracked on from his overnight 78 - hitting 14 fours and eight sixes from just 152 balls.
It was only when he was out, to end an eighth-wicket stand of 107 with Shahzad, that the hosts declared on 409 with an advantage of 161.
Siddle (four for 61) and Shahzad (four for 46) then finished with respective eight and seven-wicket match hauls as Northamptonshire, bottom of the table and still searching a first win after their promotion, were bowled out for 151 to lose by an innings and 10 runs.
Seamer Tim Murtagh set up Middlesex's 10-wicket win over Lancashire at Lord's, as the Londoners also closed up in the early top-of-the-table congestion.
Middlesex had to contend with the defiance of Ashwell Prince (86) and Jos Buttler (50) in a sixth-wicket partnership of 117, and a late counter-attack from Lancashire captain Glen Chapple.
But Murtagh (six for 60) did not let up, as Lancashire were eventually bowled out for 223 to leave Middlesex openers Sam Robson and Chris Rogers to complete the formality with only 31 required in the hosts' second innings.
There was no close finish at Hove but a notable performance nonetheless as Kumar Sangakkara cashed in on his decision to warm up with Durham, before facing England this summer, by making 159 in a high-scoring draw.
Durham began the final day on 137 for two, in reply to Sussex's 505 for nine declared.
The visitors lost Scott Borthwick without addition to his overnight 84. But Sangakkara joined forces with captain Paul Collingwood (74) in a fifth-wicket stand of 144 which confirmed the stalemate.
Sangakkara's 47th first-class century came up in 202 balls and contained 14 fours in Durham's 451 for seven.
Hampshire are the new Division Two table-toppers after their six-wicket win at home to Glamorgan.
James Tomlinson (three for 40) took the visitors' final wicket on Wednesday morning as Glamorgan were bowled out for 187.
Then after early trouble, in pursuit of only 68 to win as teenage Scottish seamer Ruaidhri Smith took three for 38, Hampshire got the job done.
Graeme Smith's maiden Surrey century helped his team to their first win of the season, by four wickets against Gloucestershire at The Oval.
The former South Africa captain hit 16 fours from 112 balls in his 103, dominating an opening stand of 145 with Rory Burns - and then Steve Davies (61) got Surrey close enough to comfortably survive a late wobble.
Kent tried, to no avail, to make things happen in their rain-ruined match away to Derbyshire.
Rob Key sacrificed a century for Brendan Nash (95no), declaring on 235 for six in reply to Derbyshire's 118 all out.
But the hosts then had no bother closing out the draw on 106 for none second time round, Stephen Moore with the lion's share of 73.