Warwickshire begin key clash well

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LV= County Championship Division One leaders Warwickshire made an impressive start after winning the toss against fellow title-chasers Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston.

Ian Westwood led the way by hitting 81 at the top of the order, while Tim Ambrose took centre stage later in the day with 64 not out.

Paul Franks enjoyed a good day with the ball, claiming 3-52 - though that did not stop Warwickshire moving into the ascendancy as they closed on 298 for five.

Kevin Pietersen’s blistering 163 ensured Surrey posted a competitive first-innings total against Somerset at Taunton.

While none of his team-mates failed to pass 34, Pietersen dominated the hosts’ bowling attack in a 168-ball innings, which included 20 fours and three sixes and took Surrey to 317 all out.

In reply, Somerset limped to 42 for two, with openers Arul Suppiah and Marcus Trescothick the men to fall.

Relegation-threatened Lancashire launched an impressive fightback after initially being overwhelmed by Durham at Aigburth.

Ian Westwood

Ian Westwood continues his recent purple patch with 81 as Warwickshire enjoy an impressive opening day in their clash with Notts

The visitors, having won their last four championship games to stave off their own fears of slipping into the second tier, are the form side in the country at the moment.

They showed that this morning, reducing the champions to 11 for four as Graham Onions claimed three early wickets.

Gareth Cross and Tom Smith, with 57 and 86 not out respectively, led the riposte as Lancashire closed on 221 for six.

Bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire impressed in the face of outstanding Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones as skipper Daryl Mitchell compiled a masterful century.

Roland-Jones has shone for much of the campaign and once again delivered the goods today by taking 4-67 as Worcestershire reached 295 for eight.

Mitchell, however, struck 129, while Alexei Kervezee finally showed some signs of rediscovering last year’s form with 55.

David Wainwright led the way for Division Two table-toppers Derbyshire as Essex were dismissed cheaply at Derby.

Left-arm spinner Wainwright took 4-64 and Mark Turner claimed 2-39 as Essex, for whom nobody registered a fifty, were bowled out for 245.

The home side limped to 28 for three in reply, though nightwatchman Palladino was one of those to fall.

Third-placed Yorkshire thrilled the home supporters at the Scarborough Festival by skittling Gloucestershire for 215.

Steven Patterson, Moin Ashraf and Azeem Rafiq earned three scalps apiece, with number nine Jack Taylor’s 49 the highest score.

The White Rose subsequently moved to 61 for two in reply despite Will Gidman’s early brace of wickets.

Brendan Nash’s century helped Kent to 319 for five against Leicestershire, who moved off the foot of the table with victory over Hampshire last time out.

Openers Sam Northeast and Rob Key hit 52 and 68 respectively, after which Nash struck an unbeaten 105. Geraint Jones departed for 52 off the last ball of the day.

Niall O’Brien was another batsman to reach three figures as his unbeaten 114 took Northamptonshire to 241 for four against Glamorgan.

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