Joyce keeps Sussex afloat

Division One

Ed Joyce fought a lone hand for relegation-threatened Sussex as they struggled to 253 on the opening day against Warwickshire at Hove. However, opening up with two spinners, they fought back as Warwickshire slipped to 15 for 2 by the close on a surface already taking turn. The Sussex innings fell away alarmingly from 149 for 2 when Murray Goodwin was removed for 32 and no else managed to support Joyce. Ant Botha, who bowled 31 overs unchanged, instigated the collapse when he bowled Goodwin and quickly added Carl Hopkinson for 8. Dwayne Smith, driving to mid-on, and Piyush Chawla also fell to the spin while Naqaash Tahir removed Andrew Hodd and Robin Martin-Jenkins. Joyce was ninth out, but Ollie Rayner's 22 at least carried Sussex to a second batting point. With the relegation tussle tight everything is crucial.

Paul Horton hit a career-best 155 not out to lead Lancashire to 297 for 5 against Somerset at Taunton. By the close he had added 144 in 35 overs with Kyle Hogg, who was within three of a new high score on 69. Somerset were without Justin Langer due to a shoulder injury so Marcus Trescothick took charge. Horton and Luke Sutton had started with a solid stand of 58 before the home attack fought back. Sutton was caught behind the ball after needing treatment for a blow on the head and Mal Loye trapped in front. The next three all fell to catches by Craig Kieswetter with VVS Laxman and Francois du Plessis both chasing wide balls. However, Horton moved to his hundred from 155 balls but was given a life on 121 when Kieswetter dropped a chance.

Durham took another massive stride towards the title as they reached 377 for 1 against Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street. Click here for John Ward's report.

Hampshire are battling to avoid the drop against virtually relegated Worcestershire at New Road. George Dobell watched the action.

Division Two

A powerful batting display by Kent, with Darren Stevens hitting an unbeaten 129, took them closer to securing promotion as they put Middlesex to the sword at Uxbridge. Stevens built on a strong base with an aggressive display, after waiting 38 minutes to open his account, and reached his third ton of the season off 117 balls. Sam Northeast missed out on his century when he was caught behind off Tim Murtagh for 84. He and Rob Key added 116 in 28 overs for the first wicket before Chris Silverwood broke through. When Geraint Jones was bowled, shouldering arms, for 20, Middlesex had a small window but it was slammed shut as Stevens and Martin van Jaarsveld added 193 for the fourth wicket.

Northamptonshire had a tough day in the field against Surrey at The Oval. Click here for Andrew McGlashan's report.