Glen Chapple hit an important half-century to rescue Lancashire from a middle-order collapse against Somerset at Old Trafford. Paul Horton, who made 69, and Ashwell Prince carried the home side to 162 for 2 before six wickets fell for 55 after Prince was caught in the gully. However, Chapple put bat to ball in his 79-ball 55 and added 64 with Oliver Newby for the ninth wicket as Lancashire rallied to 281 for 9 at the close. David Stiff impressed with three wickets while Peter Trego claimed a useful brace in the middle, but it was the sight of another quick bowler that sparked plenty of interest. Andrew Flintoff was bowling on the outfield during lunch and sent down four overs at near full pace under the watchful eye of Peter Moores and his physio Dave Roberts.
Gerard Brophy's unbeaten 75 typified a day where Yorkshire fought hard to stay on an even keel with Sussex at Headingley. Brophy's innings helped the home side reach 225 and claim a batting point as he added 96 with David Wainwright for the eighth wicket after the Sussex seamers had made inroads. Robin Martin-Jenkins claimed three wickets, including Joe Sayers for a turgid 134-ball 29, as Yorkshire slipped to 110 for 7 before Brophy provided some ballast. Dwayne Smith wrapped up the innings with two edges into the slips, but Sussex's top order struggled in reply. Both openers fell leg before and Murray Goodwin was well caught at first slip as the surprise move to bring Anthony McGrath into the attack paid off. But from 43 for 3 Ed Joyce and Matt Prior held form through to the close.
For a full report from the second day at Chester-le-Street between Durham and Hampshire, click here for John Ward's bulletin.
Middlesex took control of their match against Essex at Chelmsford, reaching 60 without loss at stumps on the second day, to give them an overall lead of 177. Essex were dismissed for 157 in their first innings as Steven Finn picked up career-best figures of 5 for 57, while Gareth Berg chipped in with 4 for 35. Danish Kaneria swung lustily at No.10 in a free-swinging 37 from just 30 balls. Andrew Strauss was unbeaten on 35 before rain cut play short, with Middlesex in command on 60 without loss.
Welsh rain curtailed the day's play at Cardiff, but there was still sufficient time for Surrey's Mark Ramprakash to notch another fifty against Glamorgan. James Harris, the promising Glamorgan seamer, broke through early when he trapped Scott Newman in front for a duck, but Michael Brown (40) and Ramprakash then put on 58 for the second wicket. Brown, in a hurry to increase their scoring rate, fell to Garnett Kruger but Ramprakash then joined forces with Mark Butcher who cracked 65 in his first game in more than a year. Butcher and Ramprakash put on 98 before Butcher became the third lbw victim of the day, this time to Adam Shantry. Surrey went to stumps on 159 for 3.
Just 16.3 overs were possible at Chester-le-field, as Gloucestershire reached 58 for 1 against Derbyshire. Electing to bat, Gloucestershire lost Kadeer Ali for a sixth-ball duck but Grant Hodnett (28) and Hamish Marshall (30) ensured no further loss before the rain came hammering down.
Rain has prevented Leicestershire's match against Kent from getting underway at Grace Road.
And there was also no play at Edgbaston in Warwickshire's match against Nottinghamshire.