Revitalised Troughton leads the way
Jim Troughton’s run of good form continued as LV= County Championship leaders Warwickshire enjoyed a productive opening day with the bat against Surrey at Edgbaston.
Skipper Troughton struggled badly in the opening months of the campaign, but had recorded scores of 81 and 132 in his last two four-day outings.
After winning the toss today he contributed 74 not out to a total of 322 for six, set up by an opening partnership of 130 between Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood, who hit 60 and 67 respectively.
Wicketkeeper Richard Johnson, recalled from a loan spell at Derbyshire following an injury to Tim Ambrose, added 49.
Nottinghamshire, who sat a point behind Warwickshire heading into this round of fixtures having played a game more, also got off to a fine start in their home match against Sussex at Trent Bridge.
Michael Yardy’s side could only muster 171 all out as Notts’ seamers shared nine wickets; the captain was run out without facing by Riki Wessels.
Alex Hales fell cheaply to Amjad Khan in reply, but Wessels and Michael Lumb then put on an unbroken 55 to take the hosts to stumps on 88 for one.
Wickets tumbled at the Emirates Durham ICG, where Middlesex held the upper hand over rock-bottom Durham.
The hosts were skittled for just 102 after being invited to bat. Tim Murtagh and Gareth Berg shared six wickets, while England paceman Steven Finn chipped in with 2-17 from 10.2 overs.
Middlesex appeared set to establish a significant lead as they took tea on 63 for one, but Ben Stokes then claimed three scalps in four overs, either side of catching Chris Rogers for 59 off Graham Onions.
Berg’s unbeaten 30 helped the visitors close on 144 for seven, leading by 42.
In Division Two second-placed Hampshire owed much to captain and opening batsman Jimmy Adams in reaching 292 for nine versus Kent at the Ageas Bowl.
Adams, who won the toss, led a recovery from nine for two, sharing a 58-run stand with Simon Katich and a 116-run alliance with Liam Dawson before being caught behind for 91 off Darren Stevens.
Dawson reached 51, but was the first of James Tredwell's two wickets ahead of Matt Coles bowling Sean Ervine.
Dimitri Mascarenhas and David Balcombe added 50 until falling in consecutive overs - the latter becoming a third scalp for Charlie Shreck.
Yorkshire, another team in the promotion shake-up, ran into resistance from bottom side Leicestershire at Grace Road, thanks in particular to Matthew Boyce's unbeaten century.
Two early wickets from Steven Patterson helped reduce the hosts to 98 for four, but Boyce combined for fifty partnerships with Shiv Thakor, Wayne White and Claude Henderson - who was Patterson's third victim.
Boyce reached three figures shortly before closing with 106 of 318 for nine.