Thomas crashes through Sussex
Alfonso Thomas claimed 5 for 53 as Sussex suffered a poor day at Hove to give Somerset a great chance of consecutive Championship victories. Thomas demolished the top order as Sussex crashed to 9 for 3 when Michael Yardy drove to short mid-on. Matt Prior (58) and Ed Joyce (45) staged a recovery as they added 97 for the fourth wicket before Prior was brilliantly caught in the gully to give Thomas his fourth. Ed Joyce and Luke Wright both fell to loose shots - Wright becoming Thomas' fifth wicket when he sliced to point - and despite some resistance from the lower Sussex conceded a lead of 170 although Justin Langer opted to bat again. Somerset had momentum from the start of the day when Peter Trego and Charl Willoughby flayed 53 in 5.2 overs as the final wicket added 69. Trego was left unbeaten on a season-best 92 when Willoughby was run out.
Steven Davies hit a century on a rain hit second day between Worcestershire and Yorkshire at New Road. John Ward watched the action
Mark Stoneman battled through an injury as Durham took on Warwickshire at Edgbaston. Click here for a full report.
There was no play on the opening day between Lancashire and Hampshireat Liverpool due to rain.
Graham Napier's impressive return to county action continued as he and David Masters shared eight wickets to put Essex in full control against Kent at Tunbridge Wells. They already had one apiece overnight and it was Masters, against his former club, who made the early impression with the first three wickets to fall. The third of those, Darren Stevens, was bemused by a slower ball and spooned to cover. Napier then had Martin van Jaarsveld caught behind as the home side slumped to 50 for 6. Justin Kemp and James Tredwell managed to add 56 before Napier returned to shift both and the innings folded for 123. Despite a lead of 157, Essex declined to enforce the follow-on - no doubt after Kent came from behind to win the corresponding fixture in early May - and increased their advantage to 266 by the close. Alastair Cook fell for 30, but Varun Chopra was unbeaten on 38.
Surrey strengthened their position further against Leicestershire in the 36 overs allowed by the weather building a lead of 52 with eight wickets still in hand at Grace Road. Michael Brown, dropped on 75, and Mark Ramprakash carried their second-wicket stand to 148 before the home side made a breakthrough when Harry Gurney shifted Ramprakash.
Rain limited play to 15.2 overs at Cardiff, but Glamorgan made good use of the short period of action as they took three Northamptonshire wickets. James Harris claimed two, spilt by a strike for David Harrison when Stephen Peters edged to second slip.