Notts thank Mullaney and Franks
LV= County Championship leaders Nottinghamshire were again grateful to all-rounders Steven Mullaney and Paul Franks for rescuing them from early trouble against Hampshire.
After slumping to 29 for four at Trent Bridge, Mullaney put on 78 with Ali Brown for the fifth wicket and then 79 in a seventh-wicket partnership with Franks before falling to David Balcombe for 97 - having hit 100 not out against the same opposition two weeks ago.
Both batsmen enjoyed some luck, with Mullaney dropped on 50 and Franks on 35 and 53, the latter finishing unbeaten on 57 as Notts were all out for 270. James Tomlinson claimed 5-66.
On a green wicket offering plenty of help to the seamers, Hampshire reached 23 for one in reply, with Liam Dawson brilliantly caught behind by Chris Read.
Kent captain Rob Key came agonisingly close to his highest first-class score as he led his side to 424 against champions Durham.
The 31-year-old opener, who has a Test double century to his name, was last man out for 261 at Canterbury - just nine short of his best effort, 270 not out against Glamorgan last year.
Steve Harmison was Durham’s best bowler with 4-52.
Adam Lyth hit a career-best 142 as Yorkshire dominated the opening day against Somerset at Taunton.
After winning the toss, the visitors ran up 296 for four, with Joe Sayers and Anthony McGrath also enjoying the cloudless skies to reach fifties - the latter unbeaten - on a flat pitch.
Ben Phillips returned a more than creditable 3-52 as Somerset otherwise toiled.
Lancashire’s batsmen bought valuable time for England seamer James Anderson with a determined display on an attritional opening day against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Anderson was named in Lancashire’s side at the toss even though he was not yet back from the Caribbean following England’s World Twenty20 success.
Anderson is expected to rejoin the county on Wednesday and should have something to bowl at thanks to half-centuries from Stephen Moore (61), Ashwell Prince (51) and Steven Croft (75 not out), which took Lancashire to 323 for eight.
Mark Ramprakash scored the 110th first-class hundred of his prolific career to give Surrey the upper hand on 286 for four in their Division Two clash with Middlesex at the Brit Oval.
Ramprakash, who finished the day on a chanceless 125 not out, has an impressive record against Middlesex, the county he left following the 2000 summer after 14 seasons.
This was his 14th first-class innings against them for Surrey - in which he now totals 1,183 runs at an average of 118, with five centuries.
Daryl Mitchell completed a century and fellow opener Phil Jaques emerged from one of the worst spells of his career as Worcestershire’s took control by amassing 376 for three at New Road against Derbyshire.
Jaques, dismissed for a duck in five of his six previous championship innings, re-discovered his form with 92 from 135 balls and Mitchell ploughed on to 148, his first hundred since making a career-best 298 against Somerset at Taunton last September.
Captain Alex Gidman and James Franklin both fell agonisingly short of centuries but Gloucestershire still had the best of the opening day against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.
Gidman (97) and Franklin (95), the former Glamorgan all-rounder, put on 155 in 46.2 overs as Gloucestershire finished the day on 303 for five after they had been reduced to 27 for three inside 10 overs.