Kent boosted by vital last stand
Mushtaq Ahmed bowled Sussex into a promising position against relegated Glamorgan as they attempt to keep pace with the Championship leaders. Mushtaq took 5 for 89 as he and James Kirtley shared nine wickets between them to restrict Glamorgan's first innings. A number of batsmen made starts, but only David Hemp converted into anything approaching a substantial innings. Even his 71 was a wasted opportunity to reach a bigger score when he was bowled by Kirtley and Mushtaq quickly wrapped up the tail. However, Glamorgan did show some fight as they claimed two Sussex scalps before the close although Ian Ward remained firm on 42.
It was a day of wasted innings for Worcestershire as they shared the opening day honours with Yorkshire. Both teams are still fighting for promotion, with Yorkshire holding the third spot at the moment and they will have been happy with their efforts today. The bowlers chipped away at Worcestershire's batting, as everyone except Shoaib Akhtar reached double figures but no one went beyond Vikram Solanki's 48. Tim Bresnan took three wickets and the rest of the attack all chipped in but the total was boosted by a last-wicket stand of 58 between Matt Mason and Nadeem Malik. Yorkshire's reply moved along a rollicking pace as Anthony McGrath raced to 65 from 54 balls with 12 boundaries.
Ian Blackwell and Arul Suppiah made contrasting nineties as Somerset took control against Northamptonshire. Both teams are someway adrift of the promotion spots but produced a hard fought day of cricket at Taunton. Matthew Wood starred in the early proceedings with an aggressive half-century but Suppiah and Blackwell added the key stand of 91. Suppiah's individual 91 came from 179 balls while Blackwell's was a typically forthright innings, his 98 taking 122 deliveries with 13 fours and two sixes. It was a blow for Somerset as both fell because on a flat Taunton pitch one of them really needed to turn their innings into a big century. Monty Panesar toiled away for 24 overs - as did Jason Brown - with three wickets between them, while also keeping a lid on the scoring rate after the seamers had been dispatched at around four an over.