Ruthless Sussex lead the way
Sussex and Leicestershire are setting the early pace in Division Two of the LV= County Championship, after dispatching Surrey and Derbyshire respectively today.
Sussex lead Matthew Hoggard’s side by one point on 44, after needing just 33 minutes to wrap up a 10-wicket victory over Surrey on the final day of their match at Hove.
Surrey had not added to their overnight score of 243 for nine when they lost Jade Dernbach to the 10th ball of the day, the number 11 edging to slip to give spinner Monty Panesar his second wicket.
That left Sussex with a token victory target of 33, and openers Michael Yardy and Chris Nash needed just 6.4 overs to knock off the runs.
At Derby, Leicestershire celebrated their first away victory in the championship for four years when they won for the second time this season despite a defiant century from Derbyshire opener Wayne Madsen.
The South African made 109 but highly promising fast bowler Nathan Buck took 3-35 and former Derbyshire seamer AJ Harris also collected three wickets as Leicestershire dismissed the home side for 199 to win by 203 runs with 11.2 overs to spare.
Glamorgan secured their first championship victory at Lord's in 56 years after mopping up the last six Middlesex wickets in just over two hours to win by 78 runs and with 62 overs to spare.
It was former Middlesex all-rounder turned Glamorgan captain Jamie Dalrymple who proved the key figure in securing his county's first win of the campaign, leaving the hosts to contemplate their second defeat in as many starts.
Dalrymple's off-spin accounted for Middlesex top-scorer Dawid Malan for an excellent 115, a dismissal that ultimately exposed the Middlesex tail to the second new ball and made the result a foregone conclusion.
In Division One, dual champions Durham needed plenty of backs-to-the-wall defiance to eke out a draw against promoted Essex at the Riverside.
A record 212-run third-wicket stand between Michael Di Venuto and Dale Benkenstein, who fell two and one short of individual hundreds, and half-centuries from Ian Blackwell and Phil Mustard shored Durham up at 352 for seven.
They had inched 66 runs in front by the time rain and bad light closed in for the second time to take out 34 overs and compromise Essex's bowling options on the final evening.
Durham avoided a first home defeat since June 2008, in what was their opening championship match of this summer.
But four points were nonetheless the sum total of their efforts - hardly a portentous start in pursuit of a third successive title.
Another captain's innings from Andrew Gale and a fluent 90 from opener Adam Lyth earned Yorkshire a six-wicket win over Somerset with 10.1 overs remaining in the match at Headingley Carnegie.
The hard-earned victory was Yorkshire's second in consecutive matches at the start of the season and it gave them a clear lead at the top of the Division One table.
Having left Yorkshire to make 198 off 56 overs, Somerset were still in with a shout themselves when they had the home side struggling on 61 for three but Lyth and Gale soon began to dominate events in a sparkling stand of 107 in 23 overs to put the result beyond doubt.
Lancashire's bowlers made the completion of their victory over Warwickshire look easy during the fourth day at Old Trafford.
The hosts picked up 21 points as they won their opening Division One fixture of the new season for the second year running by bowling the visitors out for 197 in their unlikely pursuit of 319. Simon Kerrigan took five wickets on first-class debut.