Goodwin keeps the pressure on Surrey
Frizzell County Championship Division One
Sussex 521 for 8 v Essex at Colchester
Murray Goodwin maintained Sussex's momentum at the top of the County Championship with a superb 210, as Essex's bowlers were thrashed to all corners of Colchester on a brutal day of run-scoring. Goodwin's innings was the cornerstone of a puzzlingly all-or-nothing effort from Sussex. He opened up with a 202-run stand with Richard Montgomerie (97), and added a further 113 for the sixth wicket with Matt Prior (104 not out), but until Jason Lewry joined Prior towards the end of a tiring day, none of Sussex's batsmen got a look-in. The main reason was the menacing presence of Mohammad Akram, the only Essex bowler with any bite, who took 5 for 98, including four batsmen in single figures.
Nottinghamshire 177 v Kent 242 at Trent Bridge
Another astonishing innings from Kevin Pietersen, the Graeme Hick de nos jours, could not prevent Kent from taking a first-innings lead on another substandard Trent Bridge pitch. Twenty wickets fell in the day, five of them to Kent's Martin Saggers (who on this week's evidence can expect his long-awaited England call-up in roughly 2008), as Notts were bundled out for 177 in 40.5 overs, and Kent replied with 242, their last wicket falling to the final ball of the day. Nottinghamshire's innings, however, owed everything to Pietersen, who thumped 18 fours and two sixes in his 99-ball 100. Only two other batsmen managed double figures. Kent were under no illusions about the state of the wicket, and sure enough they struggled when their turn came to bat. Mark Ealham fared the best, thumping 11 fours and a six in his 83, but once again there were only two other scores of note. But, if the recent Test is anything to go by, Kent's first-innings lead is likely to be decisive.
Frizzell County Championship Division Two
Somerset 296 v Worcestershire 86 for 2 at Worcester
Somerset's captain, Michael Burns, top-scored with 89 to give his side a competitive total against the Division Two leaders, Worcestershire, on the first day of their match at New Road. By the close, Worcestershire had lost Anurag Singh and Graeme Hick, both to Aaron Laraman, but Stephen Peters had helped the score along to a healthy 86 for 2, with a composed 44. Somerset had earlier been bowled out for 296, with Nantie Hayward showing the sort of wicket-taking form that might, one day, earn him a recall to the South African Test team. He finished with 3 for 53, including Burns himself in a brisk second spell, and Matt Mason also impressed with 3 for 56. Gareth Batty, overlooked by England this week, took wickets and a bit of tap in his 25 overs, while Steve Rhodes picked up five catches behind the stumps.
Derbyshire 138 v Northamptonshire 224 for 1 at Derby
Fresh from his unbeaten triple-century against Somerset, Mike Hussey continued his eye-popping vein of form with an unbeaten 103, to take his runs tally in his last three Championship innings to a Graeme-Smith-esque 534 (for once out). He was joined by the barely-less prolific Phil Jaques, who closed on 99 not out, as Derbyshire faced up to yet another drubbing at the Racecourse Ground. They had earlier been decimated for 138, the only resistance coming from their No. 3 Rawait Khan, whose 76 was his second Championship half-century. Andre Nel started the damage with the wickets of both openers, and Jeff Cook swung through the middle-order with 4 for 35.
Durham 388 for 7 v Hampshire at Chester-le-Street
Martin Love converted his first century of the season into a magnificent unbeaten 181, as Durham took charge against Hampshire at the Riverside. Love's labours tidied up a ragged start to the innings for Durham, for whom Paul Collingwood was making his first start of the season. He didn't last long, making just 9, but Love and Gary Pratt (66) added 161 for the fourth wicket to swing the day away from Hampshire. Dmitri Mascarenhas kept plugging away with 3 for 59, but Hampshire have it all to do on the second day.
Second Division - Day 2
Gloucestershire 237 for 7 v Glamorgan 331 at Bristol
Glamorgan remained on top by the end of another tense day's play in their Second Division promotion battle at Bristol, as Gloucestershire's batsmen made heavy weather of their first innings. The morning session had belonged to Gloucestershire, after Jon Lewis had revived their prospects by wrapping up all four of Glamorgan's remaining first-innings wickets in double-quick time, but runs were equally hard to come by in Gloucestershire's innings. Phil Weston and Tim Hancock added a steady 98 for the second wicket after the early loss of Craig Spearman, but wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter. Hancock made 64, and Alex Gidman reached the close on a vital 63 not out.