Tomlinson puts Hampshire on top
James Tomlinson took 5 for 78 - his second five-wicket haul of his career - as Hampshire bowled out Worcestershire for 289 to gain a sizeable first innings lead of 155 at Kidderminster. Hampshire were finally bowled out for 444 after Shane Warne, the captain, belted a quickfire 46 from 30 balls. And they carried forward the momentum with an early wicket in Worcestershire's reply, Tomlinson having Daryl Mitchell caught behind for a duck. Before long, Hampshire had reduced them to 88 for 5 but Steven Davies (84) and Abdul Razzaq rescued Worcestershire from the mire with a sixth-wicket stand of 122. Razzaq was the last man out for 78, and Hampshire built upon their lead before stumps.
Sussex took control of the key clash against Yorkshire with Michael Yardy's 119 helping them to 386 for 5 at Hove. Yardy and Richard Montgomerie (73) added 178 for the second wicket as Sussex ensured they had a platform from which they could build a large total for their spinners to bowl at. Yardy, who made his second Championship century of the season, then added 79 with Murray Goodwin before Adil Rashid removed both in quick succession. However the runs kept flowing as Andy Hodd and Robin Martin-Jenkins built another partnership.
Ed Smith's 111 was the main contribution for Middlesex as they built a solid total against Gloucestershire at Bristol. The innings wobbled on 81 for 3 during the morning session, but Smith, with his third century, added 174 with Eoin Morgan (76). After they both fell within 10 runs, Ben Scott and Tim Murtagh added 99 to put Middlesex on course for full batting points. Scott ended the day unbeaten on 76.
Already promoted Somerset took control against Essex at Chelmsford as Charl Willoughby helped rout the home side for 144 before building a lead of 140. Willoughby made excellent use of the new ball as Essex fell to 13 for 3 and they never recovered. Peter Trego struck two blows in the middle order before the spinners and Willoughby did the rest of the damage. Tom Westley, the England Under-19 batsman, played a lone hand with 72. In reply, Somerset raced out of the blocks as Marcus Trescothick (59) and Neil Edwards (54) added 114. Danish Kaneria shouldered a heavy burden, with six wickets, and James Hildreth's half-century pulled Somerset further away.
Northamptonshire were indebted to Nicky Boje's fine 125 to heave them up to 310 on the first day against Leicestershire at Grace Road. But Boje apart, Northamptonshire's batsmen struggled; the next highest score was Lance Klusener with an uncharacteristically patient 45. Ryan Cummins was the principle wicket-taker and picked up his maiden five-wicket haul with 5 for 60. Tom New and John Maunders, the Leicestershire openers, put on 57 without alarm and go into the second day trailing by 253.