We're set for an intriguing day two around the grounds as Essex look to ensure Somerset don't overtake their total, with Lancashire ready to thrill once again at Old Trafford.
SURREY v MIDDLESEX
Stuart Meaker spearheaded an impressive performance by the Surrey attack as Middlesex were hustled out for 247 on the first day of their Specsavers Championship match at the Kia Oval.
Meaker, generating good pace in three spells from the Vauxhall End, took 3 for 55 including top scorer Sam Robson for 57.
Robson’s dismissal sparked a mid-innings collapse which saw Middlesex slump from 131 for 2 to 163 for 7. John Simpson (40) and Ollie Rayner (38) led a recovery and then in nine overs before stumps Toby Roland-Jones improved the champions mood when he removed both openers.
Ryan Patel, who is making his Championship debut, flicked to leg gully and Rory Burns fenced fatally outside off stump as Surrey closed on 26 for 2, 221 behind.
Both sides need a victory to pull clear of the relegation battle in Division One. Surrey, fielding a team with four teenagers, will feel they had the better of things, although a dry, worn pitch already taking spin could be tough to bat last on.
But they will fancy their chances if their batsmen can build on the foundations laid by a disciplined attack, with Meaker well supported by Rikki Clarke and their two off-spinners Gareth Batty and Amar Verdi, who both picked up two wickets.
Meaker made the breakthrough before lunch when he squared up Nick Compton (20), who edged to second slip. Verdi had Steve Eskinazi lbw padding up to his 14th ball but either side of the break Robson and Adam Voges added 63 without too many problems.
Robson passed 50 for the fifth time in the Championship this season, hitting eight fours, but there was little he could do to keep out a ball from Meaker which swung in then straightened to take out his off stump.
Meaker then bowled Paul Stirling, who offered no shot, and although Simpson kept out the hat-trick ball Surrey were on a roll.
Clarke returned to the attack to trap Voges (40) with a delivery of fullish length before James Franklin nibbled at an out-swinger in Clarke’s next over.
Middlesex were struggling on 163 for 7 but Simpson and Rayner added 47 in enterprising fashion either side of tea before Simpson was deceived by Batty’s arm ball.
A similar delivery saw off Roland-Jones (5) while Rayner was leg before sweeping when Verdi tossed one up.
Steven Finn struck four boundaries and Middlesex were in sight of a second batting point when last man Tim Murtagh (5) drove Sam Curran’s slower ball to extra cover.
ESSEX v SOMERSET
Kyle Jarvis took six wickets in an innings for the second Specsavers County Championship match running to give Lancashire the advantage after day one against Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford.
Jarvis returned six for 67 from 18.2 overs as the Bears were bowled out for 200 on the stroke of tea after electing to bat.
The in-form star said: "I thought I bowled terribly and had no rhythm from the James Anderson End, which is where I normally bowled from. I decided to switch it around. It then came out really nicely.
"I've not got many wickets from this end in my four-year career here. That's just the way it goes."
They slipped from 89 for three at lunch to 119 for eight before Jeetan Patel and ninth-wicket partner Olly Stone shared 76 to limit some of the damage.
Lancashire then lost Haseeb Hameed, Alex Davies and Dane Vilas cheaply as they replied with 112 for three from 33 overs.
Jarvis took a Red Rose best of six for 61 against Hampshire in their last match, a draw at the Ageas Bowl at the start of the month.
Here, the Zimbabwean claimed all six wickets in the afternoon having improved significantly from his morning new ball spell.
All 10 Warwickshire wickets fell from the Statham End of the ground, with stand-in captain Ryan McLaren claiming four for 45 from 18.
There were signs of uneven bounce when bowling from that end, but certainly not enough to warrant a side being bowled out for 200.
McLaren trapped Dom Sibley lbw offering no shot for one in the third over before getting opposite number Jonathan Trott and former Bears skipper Ian Bell caught at second slip by Jos Buttler for four and 14 as the score fell to 41 for three in the 15th over.
After Patel’s late 47, opener Andy Umeed’s 44 was the next best score.
He played patiently having already succeeded against Lancashire this summer, hitting a century in the pink ball draw at Edgbaston in late June.
But he was the first of the seven afternoon wickets to fall as he was caught behind off a Jarvis delivery with extra bounce in the fourth over the session.
That was the first of four wickets in 24 balls for Jarvis, who had Tim Ambrose caught behind, Keith Barker lbw and Matthew Lamb bowled before both Patel and Stone were dropped during their stand.
Jarvis returned to the attack shortly before tea and had Stone caught behind for 32 as the score fell to 195 for nine in the 61st over before bowling Patel in the 63rd as he played across the line shortly after a batting point had been secured.
Hameed then fell for 15 in the 14th over of Lancashire’s reply when, stuck on the crease, he edged Chris Wright to Umeed at first slip as the score fell to 32 for one.
That was the first wicket to fall from the James Anderson End.
Umeed also took the catch, albeit at the second attempt, to help Ryan Sidebottom get rid of Davies for 20 in the 17th - 44 for two.
Stone, having signed from Northants and playing his first Championship match since May of last year following injury, then took his maiden first-class wicket for the Bears when he bowled Vilas with 80 on the board in the 27th over.
Liam Livingstone will begin day two on 41, including a straight six off Patel, alongside night-watchman Stephen Parry on 15.