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County Championship 3m

Day One storylines from the LV= County Championship

The LV= County Championship returned with a bang, with early wickets, big centuries and gripping action on day one of the 2021 men's domestic season.

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Day One storylines from the LV= County Championship

James Vince (left) and Tom Alsop shared a 224-run partnership for Hampshire

Northamptonshire v Kent 309/7
Essex 207/3 v Worcestershire
Lancashire v Sussex 291/9
Middlesex 293/8 v Somerset
Leicestershire v Hampshire 431/4
Gloucestershire v Surrey 220/9
Nottinghamshire v Durham 241/7
Yorkshire v Glamorgan 310/8
Warwickshire 13/1 v Derbyshire 189

New season, same James Vince

A few wickets may have flown in the early stages of the first day of the 2021 LV= County Championship season, but as the day progressed batsmen around the country found their feet.

Among a number of centuries on day one, there were none more eye-catching than the 81-baller from Hampshire’s James Vince. The stylish right-hander was in full flow with his trademark drives, mixed in with a few hefty blows over the legside field.

Leicestershire could have put eight fielders between mid-off and point and Vince would have still found the gap.

At the other end, Tom Alsop was having a great day himself, scoring his third First Class century and passing 2,000 career runs in his 50th match in a partnership of 224, but it’s Vince who’ll take all the headlines on day one.

Sam Robson hits the first century

When you straight drive the first ball of the year for four, you know you’re probably in pretty good nick, and Sam Robson capitalised on that fast start to score the first century of this year’s competition.

He couldn’t quite keep up his 400% strike-rate, though, settling in for a 139-ball ton which he brought up between lunch and tea.

Several of Robson’s batting partners got in and then got out against Somerset’s formidable bowling attack, which this year features Craig Overton, Josh Davey, Marchant de Lange and Lewis Gregory among the seamers.

Despite the century, it can’t necessarily be said that Middlesex are on top of the game at the end of the first day, but they’re certainly in a strong position heading into day two.

Derbyshire’s season gets off to a rollercoaster start

All batsmen at every level of the game have gone into the first game of the season thinking that this will be their year and the majority will have experienced having those hopes dashed almost immediately.

Liam Norwell was the dream wrecker for Warwickshire against Derbyshire at Edgbaston, removing both Billy Godleman and Anuj Day without scoring in the second over of the game.

The only trouble number four Leus du Plooy gave the scorers was having them jot down 21 dot balls before he also returned to the pavilion for a duck.

Wayne Madsen steadied the ship slightly with opener Luis Reece, but the club legend became the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 50.

Matt Critchley must have wondered what all the fuss was about as he set about compiling a delightful 50, which he reached in 58 balls with some excellent drives including two in two balls that went back past bowler Craig Miles.

Critchley and Reece put on 93 before the wickets tumbled again as Derbyshire slumped from 143/4 to 168/9 and ultimately 189 all out.

People were watching streams from around the world

With fans not allowed to watch their teams in person, thousands tuned in to live streams of the nine games to follow all the action.

With every game streamed on the ECB website and England Cricket app, as well as through the counties’ own channels, there were more ways than ever to watch every ball.

And fans as far afield as Australia and the USA were tuning in to the opening day of the season.

Being in Thailand didn’t stop Paul from following Gloucestershire’s fortunes on day one, though he was enjoying some a much more pleasant temperature than the players in Bristol.

Stan Wheasler was also following the Gloucestershire v Surrey match, this time from Columbus, Ohio, through the BBC Sport app.

Meanwhile Julia was tuned in to the Essex v Worcestershire stream on her lunch break in Vienna.

We’ll have streams available throughout the season, so wherever you catch the action wherever you are in the world.

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