Foster cements Essex's control
James Foster, the stand-in captain, stole the limelight for Essex at Chelmsford, scoring an unbeaten 103 against Leicestershire, before the hosts declared on 517 for 9. Foster's first century of the season followed a dominant 150 from John Maunders, who added eight to his over-night tally, before finally edging to Paul Nixon at slip off AJ Harris. David Masters also gained from his time in the middle, scoring an entertaining 67 out of the ninth-wicket partnership of 104. His innings ended when he was run-out by James Taylor as Foster declined a risky single. In reply, Leicestershire closed on 93 for 2, having lost the wickets of Nixon (40) and Boeta Dippenaar (0) to the spin of Danish Kaneria. Matthew Boyce remained unbeaten on 47, but still has plenty of work to do to avoid the follow-on.
Stephen Peters' and Andrew Hall's 191 fifth-wicket partnership helped Northamptonshire set a first-innings total of 350 at Wantage Road, as Glamorgan closed on 149 for 3 in reply. Peters added 39 to his overnight total to reach 163 before he was caught by Gareth Rees off Robert Croft, who took three wickets in the innings, then Hall was trapped leg before by Jim Allenby for 89. In response, Monty Panesar removed the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs for 42, who edged to Riki Wessels before causing any more damage. At stumps, Mike Powell (30 not out) and Jamie Dalrymple (5 not out) were left at the crease.
Youngsters Sam Robson and Adam London starred for Middlesex on the opening day of their clash with Gloucestershire at Lord's, as they reached 307 for 6. With Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan on England duty the batting looked thin but Robson, the 20-year-old Australian, top-scored with 83 before being caught by Richard Dawson at second slip off Steve Kirby trying to cut. London, who was making his first-class debut, made 68, but was stopped in his tracks when bowled by Hamish Marshall. Nick Compton was the first to go though, ending an opening stand of 46 with Robson when he gave Marshall his first wicket. Ian Saxelby claimed the scalp of Dawid Malan, who toe-ended a pull, but Neil Dexter and Shaun Udal were at the crease at stumps, on 46 and 23 respectively.
Jimmy Adams scored his third century of the Championship season to help set Hampshire up with a solid start against Somerset at The Rose Bowl, as the hosts ended the day's play on 286 for 4. His unbeaten 113 came from 284 balls, which included an array of powerful off-side drives and cuts. It took almost 40 overs for Somerset to make a breakthough when Liam Dawson was trapped in front off a sharply turning Omari Banks delivery for 55, but one wicket didn't bring two. Michael Lumb continued where Dawson left off, making 68 before being caught by Marcus Trescothick off Banks. James Vince fell to Charl Willoughby for 4 and was shortly followed by Sean Ervine who was hit wicket to give Banks his third. Adams and Nic Pothas (27 not out) remained unbeaten after a dogged partnership of 37 at stumps.
Click here for John Ward's report from Scarborough.
Click here for George Dobell's report from Worcester.