Trescothick in situ for needy Somerset

Lv County Championship

Marcus Trescothick

Marcus Trescothick and partner Arul Suppiah set their stall out on a Taunton wicket which helped Ian Bell

Somerset face a long haul to restore parity in the opening LV= County Championship match at Taunton, as they began their response to Warwickshire’s imposing 500.

Desperate to regain his England place, Ian Bell was in merciless mood as he took his overnight 84 not out to 172, before being caught behind to give Ben Phillips a fourth wicket.

Half-centuries from Tim Ambrose and Chris Woakes boosted the total after Jim Troughton, 58 overnight, had been dismissed for 77. It was the first time Warwickshire had scored 500 in a match against Somerset.

Phillips finished with 4-100. In reply, Somerset cruised to 70 without loss off 19 overs on the flat pitch, with Arul Suppiah unbeaten on 31 and Marcus Trescothick 27.

Vikram Solanki stood between Worcestershire and near-certain defeat on their return to Division One against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

With Worcestershire reeling on 53 for seven in their second innings, the captain launched a stirring eighth-wicket stand of 97 with tailender Chris Whelan. Together, they staved off the threat of an innings defeat, and began to lay a platform for something to bowl at.

Whelan’s eventual dismissal for 47 signalled stumps, and left Worcestershire 150 for eight, a lead of only 66.

Another brave eighth-wicket stand of 91 between youngster Liam Dawson (66) and veteran Dominic Cork (25) had earlier lifted Hampshire to 216, having been 116 for seven. Imran Arif (4-41) was the pick of the visiting attack.

In the 16.5 overs possible after tea in the Division Two match at the Brit Oval, Gloucestershire seized the upper hand against Surrey by shooting out three top-order batsmen.

Gloucestershire added just 12 to their overnight 321 for eight as Andre Nel and Jade Dernbach claimed four wickets apiece.

But Surrey, battling with bad light, stuttered to 18 for three by the close, with overseas player James Franklin removing openers Michael Brown and Laurie Evans. Matthew Spriegel fell lbw to Jon Lewis.

Only 22.4 overs were possible at Chelmsford between Essex and Derbyshire.

During that time, Derbyshire's last three wickets added a further 20 to carry them to a total of 326, to which Essex replied with 29 without loss.

Chris Wright and David Masters picked up the remaining visiting wickets either side of a lengthy break of just over four and a half hours because of rain.

In a morning session reduced to 7.4 overs, only one run had been added to the overnight 306 for seven when Jon Clare was caught behind to provide wicketkeeper James Foster with his fourth victim of the innings.

Play was abandoned for the day at Grace Road after bad light and rain scuppered the match between Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Andrew Hall will resume five short of his hundred when play does restart, with Northants 297 for six.