Anderson and co lead the way
England’s seamers proved their form and fitness ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean with eye-catching displays in the LV= County Championship.
James Anderson, playing only his second game for Lancashire after being rested for England’s tour of Bangladesh due to a knee injury, claimed 6-44 to put the visitors in firm control of their Division One match at Chelmsford.
Essex could manage just 176 after Anderson and veteran Glen Chapple, who claimed 3-30, ripped through their top order.
The hosts were 16 for four at one stage and only an unbeaten 55 from Ryan ten Doeschate helped them avoid an even worse first day after they were asked to bat first.
Lancashire reached 83 for three in reply, of which Stephen Moore contributed a rapid 61 off 58 balls. David Masters claimed two wickets.
Tim Bresnan took four wickets and Ajmal Shahzad three for leaders Yorkshire to provide England team director Andy Flower with further good news before the squad fly out on Sunday.
They helped reduce Kent to 313 for nine by the close at Canterbury, despite Darren Stevens' battling 92.
Another England pace bowler, Stuart Broad, also impressed with 3-79 as Nottinghamshire bowled Somerset out for 277 at Trent Bridge.
It could have even been worse for the visitors, who slipped to 78 for five when Craig Kieswetter became the second of Paul Franks’ three wickets.
Peter Trego steadied the ship with a composed 66, but Nottinghamshire lost openers Neil Edwards and Bilal Shafayat in reaching 26 for two by the close.
Champions Durham claimed six wickets in the evening session to deny Hampshire the first-day honours at the Riverside.
Michael Carberry hit 113 and Jimmy Adams 68, making full use of a docile pitch during an opening stand of 183.
But Hampshire failed to capitalise on their impressive start and closed on 298 for eight. Liam Plunkett led Durham’s rally with three wickets.
In Division Two, 20 wickets fell at Bristol as Sussex somehow established a 24-run first-innings lead over Gloucestershire.
New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin took 4-27 as leaders Sussex were bowled out for 152, but the hosts managed a paltry 128 in reply.
New Sussex signing Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claimed 4-49 while Corey Collymore chipped in with 3-15 on another first day dominated by the ball; 23 wickets fell on day one of Gloucestershire’s clash with Northamptonshire at the same ground last week.
The runs flowed at Whitgift School, where Surrey reached 415 for six against Worcestershire.
Captain Rory Hamilton-Brown hit a brutal 125 and Steven Davies an unbeaten 119 against the club he left during the winter.
Middlesex reached 281 for five at Wantage Road thanks largely to 77 from 21-year-old Adam London and 20-year-old Sam Robson’s 52.
They formed the backbone of the visitors’ total with a 127-run stand for the fourth wicket, although Northamptonshire did not help their cause as they conceded 50 extras, including 20 byes.
Veteran Derbyshire seamer Steffan Jones took 4-60 to help bowl Glamorgan out for 272 at the County Ground.
The hosts were seven for none at the close after nightwatchman Tom Lungley and Wayne Madsen negotiated four overs.