Westwood anchors Warwickshire
Ian Westwood’s unbeaten century helped title-chasing Warwickshire move into a commanding position in their potentially crucial LV= County Championship clash against Nottinghamshire.
Chasing the victory that would lift them above Division One leaders Durham, who are not in action this week, Warwickshire closed the opening day at Edgbaston on 235 for three after winning the toss.
Westwood, the former skipper, batted throughout a day that was interrupted by rain and ended by bad light in making 144, and will resume tomorrow alongside current captain Jim Troughton, who has 33 to his name.
Lancashire were indebted to a sterling lower-order recovery as they fought hard to preserve their own title ambitions against relegation-threatened Hampshire.
Lancashire went into this, the penultimate round of fixtures 10 points behind Durham and just three adrift of Warwickshire, but the mood at Liverpool was distinctly gloomy after they slipped to 125 for five.
However, captain Glen Chapple struck 76 not out off just 84 balls to build on the excellent work of Tom Smith, who made 63.
Kyle Hogg weighed in with a rapid unbeaten 47 from number nine, and his unbroken eighth-wicket stand with Chapple was worth 99 when Lancashire closed, slightly earlier than scheduled due to bad light, on 337 for seven.
Yorkshire and Somerset, who need to win to keep alive their faint hopes of survival and winning the title respectively, were limited to 41 overs’ play on a damp day at Headingley Carnegie.
Somerset, asked to bat first when play got under way at 2.15pm, recovered from 88 for three to reach 140 without further loss, thanks largely to Alex Barrow’s unbeaten 55 - his maiden first-class half-century - and a boundary-laden 43 not out from Jos Buttler.
Worcestershire, for whom victory - or even a high-scoring draw - would secure their survival, had Sussex 289 for eight by stumps at New Road.
Joe Gatting contributed 70, Murray Goodwin 60 and Ben Brown 53 not out for the visitors, while Alan Richardson, Richard Jones and Mooen Ali shared six wickets.
Division Two leaders Middlesex suffered frustration as the opening day of their match with Glamorgan fell victim to the weather.
Persistent showers ensured not even a toss took place at the SWALEC Stadium today.
Third-placed Surrey - 26 points behind Middlesex at the start of play and 23 adrift of Northamptonshire, who are not in action this weekend - fought back strongly after making a poor start against Essex at Chelmsford.
Rory Hamilton-Brown’s men slumped to 94 for five after being put in to bat, but managed to reach 315, thanks largely to 71 from Chris Jordan.
Gareth Batty, with 49, and Stuart Meaker, who hit 38, also made useful contributions down the order for Surrey, while Graham Napier was comfortably the pick of Essex’s attack with fine figures of 6-53. The home side closed on six without loss in reply.
Wes Durston cracked 118 from just 122 balls as Derbyshire amassed a healthy first-innings score against Kent at Derby.
The hosts ended day one on 405 for six, Matt Lineker having contributed 71 at the top of the order in only his second first-class appearance before Ross Whiteley and Jonathan Clare shared an unbroken partnership of 141 for the seventh wicket in 20.3 overs.
On-loan seamer David Balcombe ended the day with 4-109 for Kent, who had chosen to field first, yet his four scalps came in the space of 24 deliveries.
At Bristol, Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman compiled 81 and dominated a partnership of 121 with Ian Cockbain, who contributed 46 not out, to help his side to 235 for six against Leicestershire, who are already assured of the wooden spoon.
The visitors had reduced their opponents to 82 for five after winning the toss. Skipper Matthew Hoggard ended the day with 2-30 from 22 overs, while Nathan Buck claimed 3-61.