Hussey and Jefferson hit big centuries
Worcestershire 305 for 6 (Hick 80, Peters 55)v Derbyshire
A consistent batting performance, led by Graeme Hick, put Worcestershire in a promising position, although they were made to work by the Derbyshire attack who fought back well during the latter part of the day. A second wicket stand of 120 between Hick and Stephen Peters enable the visitors to reach 150 for 1 before three wickets fell for 25 runs during the afternoon session. That included Vikram Solanki, the new captain, who was bowled for a duck by Graeme Welch. But an aggressive 47 from Gareth Batty and obdurate 48 from Ben Smith meant the good start was not completely squandered. Welch was the pick of the attack, working his way through 22 overs for his 2 for 51. The oddest dismissal of the day was that of Stephen Moore who held his defensive pose during a shout for leg-before,, oblivious to Jon Moss who sneaked in behind him and ran him out.
Essex 224 for 2 (Jefferson 149, G Flower 55*) v Yorkshire
Will Jefferson put the Yorkshire attack to the sword to make them regret their decision to field first. Jefferson, who was unlucky not to get an Academy place over the winter after averaging 52 in 2004, hit 24 fours in his 219-ball innings, until succumbing to the part time medium-pace of Michael Lumb three balls before bad light stopped play. It was his third Championship hundred in a row, after finishing last season with two consecutive tons and marked him out as another young Essex batsman of great potential. He had two early let-offs - he should have been easily run out on 0 but Richard Dawson missed the stumps from ten feet with Jefferson stranded, and then he was dropped by Chris Silverwood when on 6. Grant Flower was much more restrained, but played a valuable supporting role with a battling 55 off 203 balls. Alastair Cook, after his superb performance for MCC, fell for just 11 this time when he was caught behind off Ian Harvey.
Lancashire 235 for 7 (Loye 53)v Somerset
After Muttiah Muralitharan failed a fitness test on his shoulder, Lancashire's batsmen wasted a series of solid starts as Somerset showed it will be a hard fight to get of the second division and justified Marcus Trescothick's decision to bowl first on a slow pitch which did a bit. The top five all played themselves in but could not convert into a really sizable score. Mal Loye struck nine fours in his 53 and Stuart Law reached 38 until he was undone by Andy Caddick. Loye's dismissal triggered a slide in which four wickets fell 15 overs before Mark Chilton, the new captain, took the total past 200 before falling to Ian Blackwell late in the day but Dominic Cork played a useful innings to boost the Lancashire total.
Durham 325 for 3 (Hussey 165*, Muchall 82) v Leicestershire
Mike Hussey showed that a change of county has done nothing to quell his thirst for runs. He put Durham into a strong position by hitting a century on his county debut - and the first Championship ton of the season - sharing stands of 93 with Jon Lewis and 166 with former England U-19 batsman Gordon Muchall. Paul Collingwood missed the chance to impress the England selectors when he was caught off Ottis Gibson. Leicestershire's bowlers struggled to make an impression - their new-ball pair of Gibson (36) and Phil DeFreitas (39) are hardly an advertisement for youth cricket - although Gibson worked hard through 30 overs and Claude Henderson did his best to keep a lid on the scoring rate with his left-arm spin.