County Championship April 18, 2006

Lancashire leave Hampshire on the ropes

Cricinfo staff

First Division

Craig Spearman: the first Championship century of the season © Getty Images

This wouldn't happen in the Premiership. Lancashire, newly promoted from the second division, set the pace on the opening day of their encounter with last season's runners-up, Hampshire, at Old Trafford. By the close, Hampshire were clinging to the wreckage of their innings on 139 for 7, with Sean Ervine and Shaun Udal the not-out batsmen. Lancashire's pacemen were the stars of the day, even without the services of their England pair, James Anderson and Sajid Mahmood. Glenn Chapple took two wickets and the England Under-19 medium-pacer, Tom Smith, picked up 3 for 29 in his second first-class outing, as Hampshire shipped wickets at regular intervals all day. Dominick Thorneley top-scored with 31.

Second Division

Somerset were made to struggle for their wickets after winning the toss and choosing to bowl, as Craig Spearman racked up the first Championship century of the season for Gloucestershire at Bristol. Spearman and his opening partner, Phil Weston, added 135 for the first wicket, before Peter Trego made his first breakthrough of the season. At 196 for 1, Gloucestershire were cruising, but a collapse of three wickets for 15 runs redressed the balance somewhat, with the old England team-mates, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Caddick, combining to dismiss Matt Windows for 20. By the close, however, Gloucestershire were back on course, with Alex Gidman and Ian Harvey well set in an unbeaten 53-run stand for the fifth wicket.