Somerset struggle at Edgbaston
Warwickshire enjoyed the better of a wicket-laden opening day against Somerset at Edgbaston.
Having been asked to bowl first, the hosts made breakthroughs at regular intervals and dismissed Somerset for just 147, Chris Wright taking 4-47.
That the visitors reached their eventual total was thanks, in no small part, to tailender Vernon Philander’s 47-ball 38, which included two sixes.
South African Philander then claimed the first wicket - of Ian Westwood - in Warwickshire’s reply, after which Adam Dibble struck twice to remove William Porterfield and skipper Jim Troughton.
Varun Chopra held firm, though, and reached 40 not out as the home side closed on 111 for three, 42 runs behind.
Wickets were seemingly easy to come by on an enthralling day at Emirates Durham ICG, where the hosts began their LV= County Championship Division One campaign in mixed fashion against Nottinghamshire.
Having opted to bowl first, Durham - playing their first game against a side that emerged victorious last week - were indebted to brilliant performances from Mitchell Claydon and Graham Onions.
The former, in particular, impressed by bowling a brilliant spell in the afternoon session, during which he removed England international Samit Patel en route to figures of 3-33.
Onions, meanwhile, went one better in claiming 4-42 as the visitors, for whom James Taylor top-scored with 32, were dismissed for only 161.
However, Durham lost Michael Di Venuto, Will Smith and Mark Stoneman early in their reply and closed on 55 for three, 106 runs behind.
Lancashire’s title defence got off to a rocky start as Michael Yardy and Ed Joyce followed up James Anyon’s efforts to put Sussex in the box-seat.
The Red Rose, having been put in by their visitors, never really got going with the bat and had little answer for Anyon and debutant Steve Magoffin, who took 5-36 and 2-12 respectively.
Only Steven Croft showed any real form, hitting a fluent half-century as the champions were bowled out for just 124.
Lancashire initially hit back impressively with the ball as Kyle Hogg, Glen Chapple and Sajid Mahmood took a wicket apiece to oust Chris Nash, Luke Wells and Murray Goodwin.
At that stage, Sussex were 15 for three, but they added a further 122 runs without further loss prior to the close as Joyce and Yardy prospered, hitting 48 and 70 not out respectively.
That ensured the visitors closed at Aigburth on 137 for three, 13 runs ahead.
Surrey continued their impressive acclimatisation to life in Division One by reducing fellow newcomers Middlesex to 225 for nine in the London derby.
The first day of their encounter initially played to the form book as the visitors impressed at Lord’s, with England international Jade Dernbach taking 3-20.
Dawid Malan did lead a fightback as, well supported by Tim Murtagh’s 31, he finished unbeaten on 62 to give Middlesex hope of a respectable first-innings total.
In Division Two, Graham Wagg returned to haunt Derbyshire, but Glamorgan were soon pegged back on an exciting first day at the SWALEC Stadium.
Derbyshire were made to pay for their decision to bat first as seamer Wagg returned figures of 6-44 off 18 overs to help dismiss his former employers for just 130 in 50 overs, Ross Whiteley top-scoring with 28.
Moises Henriques and Jim Allenby both claimed two wickets apiece for Glamorgan, who slumped to 37 for four at the close.
Tony Palladino bowled Gareth Rees and trapped Will Bragg in front, either side of Mark Footitt removing Stewart Walters, before Jon Clare accounted for Ben Wright as Derbyshire enjoyed an encouraging end to a difficult day.
Kent impressed with both bat and ball against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
After winning the toss, Northamptonshire were dismissed for 132 as Matt Coles, Charlie Shreck and Darren Stevens all took three wickets each.
England Lions seamer Jack Brooks removed openers Rob Key and Scott Newman but, despite Ben Harmison running himself out for 46, Kent were well poised at the close, reaching 127 for three.
West Indies batsman Brendan Nash was unbeaten on 40 from 96 balls, alongside nightwatchman Mark Davies, who was two not out.
Chris Dent and Ian Cockbain struck unbeaten half-centuries as Gloucestershire frustrated Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
David Balcombe did the early damage this morning, taking 3-38 to reduce Alex Gidman’s side to 87 for four.
But Dent and Cockbain shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 108 as Gloucestershire reached stumps on 195 for four.
Opening batsman Dent patiently went about his business in making 59 from 171 balls, while Cockbain struck nine fours in his 52.