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LV=CC, May 18: As it happened

A review of the four LV= County Championship games starting today, which saw Kent slump to 33 for six at stumps in reply to Gloucestershire's 252.

By Rob Barnett & Matt Somerford

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7.23pm - With stumps out of ground around the country, here is a round-up of the end-of-play scores:

Division One

Toby Roland-Jones claimed five wickets as Middlesex battled back after a tough start to restrict last-placed Northamptonshire to 251 for eight at Wantage Road.

Division Two

A calamitous Kent collapse saw them end the day on 33 for six after they had done well to bowl Gloucestershire out for 252 on the back of spinner Adam Riley's 3-51.

Daryl Mitchell fell three runs short of a third successive championship century as Worcestershire were bowled out for 291. Saeed Ajmal snared two late wickets to leave Essex 52 for two in reply.

James Vince continued his run-filled start to the season as he hit 70 in Hampshire's 321 for eight against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Nathan Buck has 4-78 for the hosts.

Essex finish the day at 52 for two in replay to Worcestershire's 291. Ajmal claimed a couple of late wickets to ensure the match is fairly evenly poised after the first day.

7.02pm - Ajmal strikes for the second time and again it is an lbw decision as Matt Salisbury departs for one. Essex are 43 for two.

6.43pm - Essex lose a late wicket with Tom Westley lbw to Saeed Ajmal.

Kent limp to stumps at 33 for six. Their top-four managed just a single run between them and no-one is yet to reach double figures. James Fuller has 3-23 for Gloucestershire.

6.20pm – It gets worse for Kent, who are 27 for six when Matt Taylor has Ben Harmison caught behind.

Hampshire reach stumps on 321 for eight with Abbott on 33 and Danny Briggs 14.

6.12pm – Kyle Abbott is resisting gamely for Hampshire while Essex openers Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh make a cautious start.

6.03pm – Kent slump to 17 for five as Fuller makes Darren Stevens his third scalp.

Ian Butler’s unbeaten 27 guides Northants to 251 for eight at stumps versus Middlesex, for whom Roland-Jones returned 5-49.

5.55pm – Roland-Jones bags a fifth wicket by having Andrew Hall lbw for 28, leaving Northants 249 for eight.

5.34pm – Jesse Ruder bowls Charles Morris to end a pesky last-wicket stand of 29 and dismiss Worcestershire for 291 at New Road where tea is now being taken.

James Fuller gets Sam Northeast caught behind and Kent are rocking at two for three.

Sean Ervine falls to Nathan Buck for 40, held at second slip, to make Hampshire 299 for eight.

5.29pm – Will Gidman traps Daniel Bell-Drummond in front, leaving Kent two for two.

5.24pm – In today’s NatWest T20 Blast game Surrey see off Somerset by 14 runs, defending 173 for three as the hosts end on 159 for six.

5.10pm – Gloucestershire are all out for 252 as Riley has Tom Smith caught behind for 30.

5.02pm – Sri Lanka warm up for Tuesday’s NatWest International T20 versus England with a 10-wicket thrashing of Sussex. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kithuruwan Vithanage overhauled the hosts’ 126 for seven in just 9.1 overs.

4.55pm – Panesar strikes twice in an over, also cleaning up Saeed Ajmal to leave Worcestershire 266 for nine. That probably means tea will be delayed at New Road.

Patel makes David Murphy his second victim today as Northants’ slide continues.

4.49pm – A flurry of wickets in Division Two: Essex newcomer Matt Salisbury has Ben Cox caught behind for 30, ending a stand of 52 with Joe Leach who is soon bowled by Monty Panesar for 17.

Hampshire’s Matt Coles is caught behind for 21 off Rob Taylor and Kent’s Doug Bollinger accounts for James Fuller on 13.

4.23pm – Adam Riley makes Will Gidman his second scalp, bowling the all-rounder for 31 as he tried to cut.

4.16pm – Middlesex land a double-blow soon after tea as Ravi Patel has Matt Spriegel caught behind for 19 and Rob Newton is held at slip for 31 off Toby Roland-Jones, who now boasts three wickets. Northants have slipped from 183 for three to 183 for five.

3.50pm - Tea arrives at Grace Road with Hampshire 229 for six. Sean Ervine and Matt Coles are at the crease after the visitors lost four wickets in that session.

3.48pm - A fourth wicket in the session for Essex as Ross Whiteley is caught at cover by Jaik Mickelburgh off Newby for 27. Worcestershire are 209 for five.

3.40pm - It is tea at Wantage Road where Northants are 183 for three against Middlesex. Rob Newton is unbeaten on 31 alongside Matt Spriegel, who has 19.

3.37pm - Doug Bollinger striks for the first time today at Bristol to end Roderick's determined stay on 59. Gloucestershire are 181 for six.

3.31pm - Vince is out. The Hampshire right-hander was in tremendous touch before he is bowled by Nathan Buck for 70. It's a crucial wicket for Buck, aided by my curse of course. Buck then claims Michael Bates in the same over and suddenly Hampshire are 219 for six.

3.15pm - I've cursed yet another batsman. This time it is arguably the form man of the championship - Mitchell. Three runs away from a third successive century in this format and the Pears skipper has fallen to Napier, who has two wickets in as many overs. Oliver Newby takes the catch at mid-on.

3.12pm - Tom Fell is bowled by Graham Napier but Daryl Mitchell hits Ryder for a pair of boundaries in three balls to go to 97. Another man who is in great form, Vince at Hampshire, has reached his half-century at Grace Road.

3.02pm - Adam Wheater races to a half-century from 47 balls at Grace Road. He survived a dropped chance off Rob Taylor when he was on 45. James Vince is not far behind him as he continues a run-filled start to the campaign.

2.54pm - It is 50 up for Roderick at Bristol. The 22-year-old wicketkeeper has got there from 59 balls. It has been an enterprising innings with his side losing wickets a bit too frequently.

2.49pm - Jesse Ryder strikes in his first championship over for Essex. Tom Kohler-Cadmore is trapped in front for nine and the Pears are 136 for two.

2.46pm - Tim Murtagh grabs his first wicket of the day as David Sales is snaffled by Middlesex skipper Chris Rogers for a well-made 43. Northants need to steady again now at 143 for three.

2.39pm - I've done it again. Marshall has been bowled by Adam Riley for 44 and Gloucestershire are 140 for five. I will stop saying how well the batsmen are going.

2.36pm - Roderick and Marshall are both closing in on half-centuries at Bristol. Their stand is worth 67 for the fifth wicket to slow Kent after their good start with the new ball.

2.10pm - Gloucestershire become the last of the teams batting today to reach 100. They are four down with Gareth Roderick and Hamish Marshall at the crease. Interestingly, Worcs were first to three figures despite starting an hour later than everyone else.

2.01pm - It is lunch at New Road with Worcestershire 132 for one and their skipper Mitchell on 79. He's closing in on a third successive championship century and a fourth this season.

1.45pm - The three games that started at 11am have begun again after lunch. It's the sort of day where you sit out on the balcony with your sandwiches and enjoy the sunshine.

1.43pm - I've applied the kiss of death on Worcestershire. No sooner than I sing their praises, Pardoe has been trapped lbw by Greg Smith for 45. At 117 for one it is still a cracking start.

1.40pm - Worcestershire are showing no sign whatsoever that a busy weekend, and a switch of format from Twenty20, is hurting them. With 20 minutes to go before lunch they are 116 without loss. Their in-form skipper Mitchell is on 70.

1.08pm – As promised, here are those scores. All teams batting first won the toss.

Division One

Northamptonshire, aided by 50 not out from skipper Stephen Peters, are 87 for one versus Middlesex at Wantage Road.

Division Two

Hampshire, initially boosted by a first-wicket stand of 75 between Jimmy Adams and Will Smith, are 79 for two against Leicestershire at Grace Road, having lost both openers.

Kent, with two Mitchell Claydon scalps, have reduced Gloucestershire to 82 for four at Bristol.

1.04pm – Peters raises a fifty, but Adams is caught behind for 40 off Charlie Shreck to herald the interval at Grace Road. We’ll soon have the lunch scores for the games that started at 11am. In the match that began at midday, Worcestershire are 63 for none versus Essex.

12.53pm – Adams and Smith’s strong opening stand ends on 75 as Leicestershire’s Rob Taylor bowls the latter for 35.

Adam Ball halts Gloucestershire’s mini-recovery with the wicket of Alex Gidman for 20, leaving Gloucestershire 64 for four. Gidman put on 41 with Hamish Marshall.

12.37pm – Hampshire and Worcestershire move beyond 60 and Northants past 50. Worcestershire have slowed up a bit.

12.28pm – Daryl Mitchell and Matt Pardoe give Worcestershire a swift start, scoring at nearly a run a ball.

12.12pm – Gloucestershire slip to 32 for three when Darren Stevens has Chris Dent caught and bowled.

Middlesex make a breakthrough as Toby Roland-Jones cleans up James Middlebrook for 20, making Northants 39 for one.

Adams and Smith move Hampshire past 50.

11.41am – Northants openers Stephen Peters and James Middlebrook and Hampshire first-wicket pair Jimmy Adams and Will Smith are giving their sides steady starts.

Worcestershire decide to bat first versus Essex. Their game is set to start at midday.

11.27am – The day’s first wicket falls with Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger, who has so far been unable to match his stunning form of last year, playing on to Mitchell Claydon.

11.16am – The favourable batting conditions that encouraged all three toss-winnings captains to bat first, see no wickets lost in the early stages.

11am – As well as the championship action, there are two other fixtures of note today: Somerset face Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast and Sussex play Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 encounter, also from 2.30pm, as the world champions prepare to take on England on Tuesday evening.

10.50am – Perhaps the main team news is England seamer Steven Finn missing out for Middlesex, even though he is not in either England limited-overs squad to face Sri Lanka?

10.40am – Here’s the initial toss news:

Northamptonshire opt to bat first versus Middlesex.

Gloucestershire choose to bat first against Kent.

Leicestershire are asked to field first by Hampshire.

10.30am – While waiting for news of the toss in the three matches due to get going at 11am, why not read our comprehensive preview of all four contests?

10.20am – Good morning and welcome to our LV= County Championship blog. The four games starting today are listed below. Worcestershire versus Essex is set to begin at midday, an hour later than the others, given the hosts’ evening NatWest T20 Blast clash yesterday.

Division One

Northamptonshire v Middlesex, Wantage Road

Division Two

Gloucestershire v Kent, Bristol

Leicestershire v Hampshire, Grace Road

Worcestershire v Essex, New Road

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