Hampshire fought back well against Durham after Michael di Venuto and Will Smith's century opening stand put them on the back footat the Rose Bowl. Resuming on 160 for 5, Hampshire lost their last five wickets for 72 today and then watched di Venuto pile up a century, as he and Smith (28) added 116, then Gordon Muchall (58) joined him to add a further 94. But di Venuto's dismissal, for 124, heralded something of a collapse, with Durham falling from 210 for 2 to 247 for 7.
Brad Hodge's 46th first-class hundred put Lancashire firmly in the driving seat against Kent at Old Trafford. Hodge helped the runs to pile up, assisted by half-centuries from Iain Sutcliffe, Mal Loye and Stuart Law and they reached 451 for 5 before declaring. Kent were 14 without loss by the close.
Warwickshire managed to boost their total from 86 for 4 to 343 at Edgbaston, thanks to the efforts of Jim Troughton, who hit his 13th first-class century. Worcestershire lost just Phil Jaques before the close, reaching 77 for 1.
The leaders Yorkshire were given a thorough working over by the champions Sussex after play finally got underway on the second day at Headingley. Jason Lewry and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan proved virtually unplayable as they combined to reduce the top order to 26 for 5. Robin Martin-Jenkins and Mushtaq Ahmed did further damage as Yorkshire slid to 139 all out. A rare bright point was the 32 not out made by Ajmal Shahzad in just his second first-class match this season. 21-year-old Shahzad shared in two stands, for the ninth and final wicket, which boosted Yorkshire from 85 for 8 to 139. But Sussex have an early glimmer of leapfrogging Yorkshire to the top.
Essex's seamers took three quick wickets to leave Middlesex struggling on 74 for 3 - trailing by 302 - on a curtailed second day at Lord's. Essex's lower order was quickly wrapped up - bowled out for 376 - but Alex Tudor made the most of the swinging conditions to remove Billy Godleman and Owais Shah, while Martin Saggers dismissed Nick Compton. Heavy rain ended the day early.
Somerset continued to boss proceedings in a way to make Alan Sugar proud - with gritty authority - at Bristol, dismissing Gloucestershire for 121. But Andrew Caddick's performance was from no apprentice - he took 7 for 30 from 18.5 overs. Marcus Trescothick took five of those catches, although he was later to lament a duck. With conditions favouring quicker bowlers, Justin Langer used just four bowlers; Charl Willoughby claiming two and Peter Trego the other. Langer was Somerset's other faller as Neil Edwards and James Hildreth quickly erased the deficit and ended up with unbeaten half-centuries.
Leicestershire piled on the misery for Northamptonshire on another truncated day at Northampton. Resuming on 53 for 3, they struggled to 105 for 6, before David Sales (72*) and Steven Crook (32*) put together the first meaningful partnership of the innings. They added an unbeaten 66 before an early stumps, with David Masters now having three wickets to his name.
A ball has still yet to be bowled between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire at Nottingham.