Pacemen dominate opening day
A host of seam bowlers enjoyed success as wickets tumbled across the country on the opening day of the LV= County Championship season.
Trent Bridge witnessed 20 wickets alone, hosts Nottinghamshire crumbling to 118 all out before restricting Worcestershire to 130 in reply.
Richard Jones was the star of the show for Worcestershire, the 25-year-old right-armer picking up 6-32 from 10.4 overs. There were three ducks and five other single-figure scores on the Nottinghamshire card, which would have looked much worse were it not for an unbeaten 51 from veteran all-rounder Paul Franks.
By the end of the day, Jones was required to put on his pads as Worcestershire’s batsmen also failed to fire. Michael Klinger and Shaaiq Choudhry were the only men to reach 20 as Nottinghamshire’s pace quartet of Ben Phillips, Luke Fletcher, Andre Adams and Franks all prospered.
Amjad Khan claimed 5-57 for Sussex as Surrey were dismissed for 264 at the Kia Oval on their return to the top flight, before finishing strongly with the ball late in the day.
Amjad, who earned a solitary England Test cap against West Indies three years ago, ran through the tail to deny Tom Maynard an opening-day century after Surrey had been put in to bat by Michael Yardy.
The England Lions batsman was left stranded on 86 not out, having struck 16 fours to build on the good work of Zander de Bruyn, who contributed 52.
Sussex, for whom Naveed Arif Gondal chipped in with three wickets, appeared to be making solid progress in reply, only to then lose three wickets for 10 runs. Yardy’s departure in the final over of the day left them on 105 for five, trailing by 159.
Vernon Philander wasted little time in making his mark at Taunton after rain had delayed the start of Somerset’s match with Middlesex.
The South Africa seamer, signed as Somerset’s overseas player for the first two months of the season, had Sam Robson caught behind for nought in his opening over and ended the day with 3-21 as the visitors reached 118 for four after being invited to bat first.
Joe Denly, on debut for Middlesex, was the only batsman to offer any meaningful resistance. He had 64 to his name and John Simpson was alongside on two when bad light forced a premature close after 36 overs.
Division Two’s most advanced game saw Leicestershire dominate Glamorgan at Grace Road.
The hosts, who lost the toss, recovered impressively after being one for three when Huw Waters struck with the first two balls and in his next over.
Ramnaresh Sarwan oversaw the fightback with 41 and Claude Henderson’s unbeaten 57 helped Leicestershire to 249 all out. Waters returned 4-57 and Jim Allenby 3-43.
Glamorgan were soon in trouble and slumped to 25 for five by stumps, with Matthew Hoggard striking twice in an over and Robbie Joseph also snaring two wickets.
Kent made Yorkshire’s return to the second tier tricky as they posted an impressive 345 for five at Headingley Carnegie.
Rob Key justified his decision to bat first by sharing an opening stand of 141 with Scott Newman, who was bowled by Ryan Sidebottom for 64.
Key was agonisingly run out for 97, but Ben Harmison hit 45 before Brendan Nash added 67 and enjoyed an alliance of 62 with Michael Powell.
Opening batsman Billy Godleman dominated proceedings versus Gloucestershire at Chelmsford with a patient 130 to aid Essex’s 364 all out.
Godleman shared fifty partnerships with Adam Wheater, who fired a 42-ball 56, Greg Smith, James Foster, who made 46, and Graham Napier.
Godleman was eighth out, to Ian Saxelby who claimed three wickets - as did James Fuller. There was not time for Gloucestershire to reply.
Dan Redfern scored the season’s first championship century as Derbyshire gained the upper hand against Northamptonshire at Derby.
Redfern, whose previous highest first-class score was 99, led a recovery from 50 for four with Ross Whiteley, combining for a 160-run alliance that ended when the former fell for 110.
Jack Brooks made Whiteley his fourth wicket, for 83, and took 5-61 as the hosts were dismissed for 286.
Tim Groenewald twice broke through to peg Northants back to 28 for three at stumps.