Lancashire take charge on Flintoff return
All eyes were on Andrew Flintoff as he made his latest comeback from injury for Lancashire as they took on Durham Chester-le-Street, but his team-mates helped shoulder the burden as the visitors took the honours. Flintoff, of course, had to make his mark and had Michael Di Venuto caught behind second ball then took a sharp catch at second slip to remove Mark Stoneman. That gave Sajid Mahmood his first wicket and he added another when Gordon Muchall managed to slap a long hop to cover when Francois du Plessis took a good catch. Glen Chapple moved the ball both ways to trouble the middle order as he wiped out three, but it seemed inevitable that Flintoff would have the final say and he shifted a stubborn Mitchell Claydon shortly before the close on a day where 34 overs were lost to rain.
Ben Smith and Ashley Noffke rescued Worcestershire after early batting problems against Sussex at New Road. They fell to 118 for 5 as the quicks did the early damage before Piyush Chawla made a mark on his county debut when he had Steven Davies taken at slip. Smith and Noffke then added 58 for the sixth wicket in 12 overs until Smith was run-out from mid-on for 80. Noffke, though, found useful support from the lower order as hauled the total upwards, striking two sixes in his 137-ball innings, before he was last-man out coming down the pitch at Chawla. The Sussex openers survived four overs before the close to reach 17 without loss.
Garry Park stroked a battling 76 for Derbyshire on a seesawing first day against Glamorgan, who held the honours by taking nine wickets at Derby. Derbyshire held the honours in the first session, as Chris Rogers (27) and Steve Stubbings (43) put on 56 for the opening wicket. Rogers fell to Mark Cosgrove, but Park and Stubbings then stood firm in a second-wicket stand of 73. Glamorgan didn't lose heart, however, and chipped away in the afternoon session - Robert Croft and Cosgrove each bagged three apiece - as Park fell to another spinner, Dean Cosker, for Derbyshire's top-score of 76. Tim Groenewald dug deep at No.10, spending nearly an hour compiling 10, as Derbyshire closed on 261 for 9.
David Wigley bowled Mark Ramprakash for 17 as Northamptonshire's bowlers fought back after being dismissed for 209 on the first day against Surrey at Northampton. Surrey lost their openers cheaply, shortly followed by Ramprakash, before Mark Butcher steadied their reply (32) but, at stumps, Surrey had lost four wickets with 117 on the board, still trailing by 92. It was a former Northamptonshire bowler who hurt the hosts earlier in the day, however, as Andre Nel stormed haunted their lineup with 6 for 36. Stephen Peters top-scored with 59, and the only other innings of substance came from the most unlikely of figures at No.10: Monty Panesar, who scorched 38 from 48 balls.