Drama at Canterbury as 21 wickets fall
Ed Joyce struck 183 and rescued Sussex after their top order had collapsed against Nottinghamshire on a sultry day ideal for swing bowling at Horsham. Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher took three wickets each to help reduce Sussex to 144 for 7 but faced stiff resistance from Joyce and the lower-order batsmen. Joyce did the bulk of the scoring but he was supported by the tailenders who hung around doggedly. Joyce and Ollie Rayner (22 off 45 balls) added 60 for the eighth wicket after which Joyce added 104 more with Corey Collymore, who batted for more than two hours and remained unbeaten on 23 off 95 balls. Joyce's resistance was finally broken by Adam Voges, who trapped him lbw though the impact looked high and down leg side, but not before he had lifted Sussex to 309 for 9.
The bad weather continued to plague Birmingham, where the third Ashes Test was drawn after lots of time was lost to rain, and a wet outfield ensured no play was possible on the first day between Warwickshire and Somerset at Edgbaston.
Essex ended their first innings on 300 against Gloucestershire at Garon's Park but it was far more than they looked like reaching after they were struggling at 47 for 5 at one stage. The decision to bat backfired as James Franklin and Steve Kirby picked up early wickets and it needed Mark Pettini and Ryan ten Doeschate to steady the innings with a 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Pettini found support in Graham Napier after ten Doeschate was dismissed for 43 and the pair added another 88 runs. Napier fell for 50 but there was more resistance from the lower order with David Masters cracking 55 off 80 balls. Pettini remained steady at the other end throughout and was the last man dismissed for 91 with the score on 300. Masters gave Essex another late boost by dismissing Gloucestershire opener Rob Woodman for 1 before stumps.
Boeta Dippenaar was steady while HD Ackerman attacked but despite their 152-run partnership, the Glamorgan bowlers managed to dismiss Leicestershire for 313 at Colwyn Bay. Leicestershire got off to a terrible start after choosing to bat, losing both openers to James Harris and David Harrison with the score on 8. It was then that Dippenaar and Ackerman began their stand. Ackerman scored briskly but after he was bowled for 92 by Harris off the inside edge, Leicestershire's innings began to unravel with wickets falling at regular intervals. Dippenaar was also bowled, by Dean Cosker, for 85 with the score on 215 for 3 and the last five wickets managed only 98 runs between them. Glamorgan's openers, Gareth Rees and William Bragg, added 45 before play ended on the first day.
The last thing Middlesex's openers, Sam Robson and Nick Compton, would have expected as they walked out to open the innings against Kent was that they would have to do it again before the day was over. But they did have to during a bizarre day's play at Canterbury where 21 wickets fell (four run-outs) in conditions that were not treacherous for batting. Amjad Khan and Azhar Mahmood took three wickets each as Kent's bowlers ripped through the Middlesex batting line-up, reducing then to 70 for 6. There was brief resistance from Gareth Berth, who scored 57, and Murali Karthik (28) before the last four wickets fell in a hurry and Middlesex were dismissed for 155. If Kent thought taking a first-innings lead would be easy, they were mistaken for they were soon reeling at 52 for 6. That they got past 100 was due to Darren Stevens, who made 67 and was one of three batsmen to reach double figures and the only one to go past 20. Tim Murtagh and Murali Karthik took three wickets each as Kent crashed to 141, conceding a first-innings lead of 14. Middlesex's openers managed to add 32 in the second innings before Compton edged James Tredwell to the keeper. They finished the day on 50 for 1 with an overall lead of 64.