Kemp and Jaques flay bowlers
A truncated day at Trent Bridge, plagued by bad light and showers, ended with honours even between Nottinghamshire and Middlesex. Nick Compton struck a valuable, unbeaten 69 but the Middlesex tail fell away against Charlie Shreck and Mark Ealham. In reply, Johann Louw struck early but Steven Fleming remained solid until on the stroke of stumps he was removed by Louw. Nottinghamshire will be aiming for a decent lead as they try to end a poor run, which included a 299-run defeat against Hampshire last week.
Justin Kemp hit an amazing 70-ball 118 as Kent wrestled the initiative away from Durham at Stockton. Ottis Gibson had put Durham ton top with three early strikes after they had eked out a 38-run lead. However a stand of 174 between Kemp and Darren Stevens hurried the game their way. Kemp displayed the awesome hitting power he has shown in one-day internationals and launched 21 fours and two sixes in an incredible onslaught. Stevens had earlier been the surprise package with the ball as he sent down 27 overs of medium pace and took four wickets. His all-round show and Kemp's blitz has left Kent well placed a surface helping the bowlers.
For a full report of Warwickshire against Lancashire at Edgbaston click here.
Phil Jaques cracked a blistering career-best 244 as Worcestershire hammered the Essex attack to all parts of Chelmsford. He and Stephen Moore gave Worcestershire an ideal start with a positive stand of 122, then he added 146 with Ben Smith. But Jaques was just unstoppable as he raced through the milestones, reaching 200 off 232 balls, with none of the Essex bowlers able to do anything about it. Tim Phillips, the left-arm spinner, and Darren Gough managed two strikes each but it was a long day in the field with the prospect of more punishment to come.
Peter Trego led a powerful Somerset rearguard with a fine century at Bath after Surrey had threatened to take complete command. Martin Bicknell and Mohammad Akram reduced them to 38 for 4 then, following a resolute half-century from Keith Parsons, Somerset again tottered at 155 for 6 with the two main seamers sharing the wickets. Trego, however, took the attack to Surrey and received useful support from Carl Gazzard and Richard Johnson as the total was pushed the unexpected heights of over 300. Bad light knocked the final 24 overs off the day.
A solid display from the Gloucestershire batsmen has given the opportunity to build a commanding first-innings total against Derbyshire. Hamish Marshall, the New Zealander, led the way with an aggressive 84 that included 12 boundaries and it follows his first century for the county last week. Alex Gidman then built on the foundation with a workmanlike effort and will start the second with a century firmly there for the taking.
James Franklin led an incisive display from the Glamorgan attack as they removed Northamptonshire for 178 at Northampton. He claimed two early strikes with the new ball to put Northants on the back foot. Chris Rogers battled away for his first half-century of a poor season, but when he and Lance Klusener went in quick succession so did the hope of a sizeable total. Rikki Wessels hung around as Franklin finished with four then David Hemp and Michael Powell guided Glamorgan through to the close in a very healthy position.