Taylor hat-trick routs Middlesex
On a day where 14 wickets fell, Hampshire moved into a strong position against Middlesex on the first day at the Rose Bowl. Billy Taylor routed Middlesex, who chose to bat, with a hat-trick and eventually ended with the brilliant figures of 6 for 32. Six of Middlesex's batsmen failed to score, including Andrew Strauss who lasted just three balls before falling lbw to James Bruce. Middlesex's misery ended in the 33rd over when Ben Hutton, threatening to carry his bat, was bowled by Bruce; Hutton had, at least, managed to edge Middlesex up to 98. In reply, John Crawley, Dominic Thornely and Nic Pothas all hit fifties as Hampshire gained a 164-run lead with six first-innings wickets remaining.
Martin van Jaarsveld continued his good form with 87 on the first day of Kent's match against Lancashire at Old Trafford, but he was just one batsman to pass fifty as Lancashire's bowlers kept it tight. Such was Lancashire's discipline that the run-rate barely rose above two-and-a-half runs per over and admirably though van Jaarsveld batted, there was very little show of aggression. And while Sajid Mahmood, whose 14 overs only cost 33, grabbed the key wicket of van Jaarsveld, he failed to make a impression ahead of what will likely be his Test debut against Sri Lanka next week. Like all the seamers, Mahmood perservered but Gary Keedy who made the inroads, picking up 4 for 72.
Fifties from Moeen Ali and Dougie Brown saved Warwickshire's blushes on the first day at Trent Bridge against the champions, Nottinghamshire. Warwickshire were reduced to 83 for 5, including losing Ian Bell for just eight, and were in further trouble when Michael Powell (36) departed. Brown and Ali, the England U-19 captain, put on a vital 70-run partnership with Ali left unbeaten on 68 as Warwickshire reached 248 for 9. Andrew Harris took 5 for 53 from 27 overs and was well supported by Mark Ealham who grabbed 2 for 45.
Darren Lehmann struck a typically pugnacious 64 and Anthony McGrath ground out 80 for Yorkshire, but there was little else of substance from the home side's batsmen who were bowled out for 272 against Sussex at Headingley. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan continued his promising start to the season with 4 for 86, as Sussex had the home side tottering on 24 for 3 before McGrath's rescue act. Together with Lehmann (64) the pair put on 126 for the fourth wicket before Naved-ul-Hasan and fellow Pakistani Mushtaq Ahmed (3 for 68) mopped up the tail. In reply, Sussex lost their opener Richard Montgomerie who fell lbw to Matthew Hoggard and trail Yorkshire by 235 runs.
A magnificent unbeaten 158 from Dinesh Mongia, and a solid 111 from Hylton Ackerman, led Leicestershire to an imposing 392 for 5 against Essex at Chelmsford. The pair came to the wicket with Leicestershire in a spot of trouble on 97 for 2, but put on 170 for the third wicket to hand the visitors the advantage. Ackerman eventually fell to Timothy Phillips, the slow-left-arm bowler, who was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 57.
Chris Taylor's second first-class hundred and 97 from Steve Stubbings helped put Derbyshire in a strong position against Glamorgan before Robert Croft and Dean Cosker each took two wickets to initiative a mini collapse. Taylor and Stubbings put on a magnificent 198 for the second wicket but Stubbings' wicket started the slide, and Derbyshire slipped from 247 for 2 to 275 for 7 to leave the honours even after the first day.
Marcus Trescothick announced his full return to form and fitness with a magnificent 154, from 194 balls, on the first day between Somerset and Northamptonshire. His knock was all the more remarkable given that it was made out of Somerset's paltry 258; after Trescothick, the next highest score was from their Australian overseas player Cameron White (26). Jason Brown was the pick of Northants' bowlers with 5 for 82. However, in reply the home side were soon in trouble, slipping to 104 for 3 and trailing by 154 runs with Dan Cullen picking up two wickets.