Sayers and Lyth lead Yorkshire charge
An impressive opening stand between Adam Lyth and Joe Sayers helped put Yorkshire into a dominant position on the opening day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against title-holders Durham.
They put on 146 as the hosts racked up 304 for two against a Durham attack which was again missing Steve Harmison through injury.
It was Yorkshire’s highest opening partnership against Durham and it was just the start that captain Andrew Gale was looking for after winning the toss in ideal batting conditions at Headingley Carnegie.
Lyth made 85 and Sayers 63, before Jacques Rudolph, who contributed 68 not out, and Anthony McGrath, with an unbeaten 73, added an unbroken 131 for the third wicket.
James Hildreth overcame a freak injury in the warm-up to hit a fluent 73 as Somerset ran up 328 for seven on the opening day against Essex at Taunton.
The 25-year-old slipped while playing a game of touch rugby and had to go to hospital for stitches after a team-mate’s studs left him with a cut knee.
Hildreth dropped a place down the order to five, but then produced a typically attractive 110-ball innings, including 12 fours.
Nick Compton and Zander de Bruyn also made significant contributions, but David Masters with 3-54 ensured Essex stayed well in the game.
Michael Carberry and Sean Ervine both hit half-centuries to boost the Hampshire innings in their meeting with fellow early-season strugglers Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Carberry guided his side through a difficult first session before departing for 74 and Ervine contributed 70 in a hard-earned total of 283.
The contest was well balanced when the home side closed on 45 for one, trailing by 238, after losing captain Ian Westwood in Kabir Ali’s second over.
A century from Ashwell Prince helped steady a wobbling Lancashire against Kent at Old Trafford.
Prince, who made 115 before being run out by a direct hit from Joe Denly at deep midwicket, put on 144 for the fifth wicket with Steven Croft after the hosts had slipped to 86 for four.
Croft also seemed set for a century only to perish for 93 in the penultimate over of the day as Lancashire closed on 317 for nine.
In Division Two, England captain Andrew Strauss fell for a modest 18 in Middlesex’s match with Gloucestershire at Lord’s.
Strauss was dismissed by Steve Kirby as Middlesex slumped to 71 for four by the close, having dismissed Gloucestershire for 268. Iain O’Brien was the standout performer with 7-48.
Glamorgan paceman David Harrison matched that display, finishing with figures of 7-45 as Worcestershire were bowled out for 134 inside 48 overs.
Only Moeen Ali offered any resistance with an unbeaten 85 before Glamorgan set about building a big advantage, finishing the day on 228 for four, with Ben Wright unbeaten on 71.
Former England Under-19 international Mark Footitt delivered a reminder of his talents by claiming four wickets to help Derbyshire dismiss Northamptonshire for 220 at Wantage Road.
Northamptonshire captain Nicky Boje top-scored for the hosts with 54 before Derbyshire closed on 57 without loss.
An unbeaten half-century from Murray Goodwin gave leaders Sussex the advantage against unbeaten Leicestershire at Hove.
Goodwin was unbeaten on 59 as Sussex finished the day on 213 for seven - a lead of 99 - having dismissed Leicestershire for just 114 in 35.3 overs.