Woakes rounds on Somerset
Warwickshire moved into a dominant position against LV= County Championship Division One favourites Somerset at Taunton thanks in part to a stunning all-round display from Chris Woakes.
After Varun Chopra converted his opening-day 174 not out into a fine 210 - the first double century of the season - the day belonged to Woakes, who made his England debut against Australia over the winter.
He hit a run-a-ball 129 from number eight - with 18 fours and a six - sharing a 110-run stand with Ant Botha, who made 64, as the visitors powered on from their overnight 416 for six to a foreboding 642 all out.
Woakes then enjoyed success with the ball, claiming three wickets as Somerset slumped to 147 for six in response. Arul Suppiah’s 62 was the only real resistance.
Another England paceman, Graham Onions, who has been out of action since January last year with knee and back injuries, celebrated his return to first-class cricket with a five-wicket haul as Durham skittled Yorkshire for 149 at Headingley Carnegie.
Yorkshire trailed by 178 after the first innings, but the visitors declined to enforce the follow-on after tea and were 64 for three - leading by 242 - when bad light ended play.
It was the first time Onions has taken five wickets in an innings since his 7-38 against Warwickshire in June 2009, and the fourth occasion on which he has bagged five or more against Yorkshire.
Onions was also well supported by his opening partner, Callum Thorp, who claimed three for 33, with only Joe Root digging in for the hosts, although he fell five runs short of a half-century.
Champions Nottinghamshire crept into a 75-run lead against Hampshire at Trent Bridge after reaching 293 for nine.
Samit Patel, with a fine 116 which went some way to proving his fitness after falling out of favour with England, and captain Chris Read, who made 54, were the fulcrum of the innings. The former clubbed 18 fours and one six.
David Griffiths was the key man with the ball; he ended the second day with 5-72.
In Division Two, Middlesex manoeuvred Essex into a dire position at Lord’s, bowling the visitors out twice in the day.
Having made a seemingly modest 277 batting first, Middlesex made that look a formidable score by skittling their opponents for 115 and 215 in a remarkable three sessions.
Ravi Bopara, who abandoned an IPL contract to push for England honours, was removed both times by international colleague Steven Finn for a combined total of 17 runs.
Alastair Cook also struggled, with 19 and 25, and Tom Westley’s second-innings 59 was the only half-century of the day. Gareth Berg returned second-innings figures of 4-31 to leave Middlesex chasing just 54 for victory tomorrow morning.
A Wayne Madsen century and 99 from Greg Smith powered Derbyshire to 439 for nine against Leicestershire at Derby, a first-innings lead of 205.
Nathan Buck plugged away with four wickets but the day belonged to Derbyshire, who declared just before the close. Leicestershire reached four without loss.
Northamptonshire established a lead of 227 over Kent with three first-innings wickets intact at Wantage Road.
Captain Andrew Hall took the limelight with an unbeaten 141, while Mal Loye, Niall O’Brien and James Middlebrook contributed fifties in a close-of-play total of 429 for seven.
Bowlers had the better of things at the SWALEC Stadium, with Gloucestershire making just 188 in response to Glamorgan’s 202.
The home team extended their slender advantage to 199 by the end of play, reaching 185 for three in their second innings thanks to Gareth Rees’ 68.