A superb spell of 6 for 65 from Dimitri Mascarenhas blew away Yorkshire for 195 on the first day against Hampshire at Southampton. Craig White, the Yorkshire captain, was the first to go when Chris Tremlett snuck one through his defence; thereafter it was the Mascarenhas massacre. From 105 for 3 Yorkshire fell to 138 for 7, all wickets falling to Mascarenhas. And though Jason Gillespie played a cheeky cameo, Tremlett mopped up the tail. Gillespie removed James Adams for 29 in Hampshire's reply, but Michael Carberry (81 not out) led a confident response by the home side, who now trail by just 64 runs.
Middlesex were put to the sword by Dale Benkenstein and Gareth Breese, both of whom struck solid hundreds for Durham, on the first day at Lord's. Jimmy Maher (46) and Gordon Muchall, who spanked a quick-fire 68, put on 104 for the second wicket but Middlesex fought back, leaving Durham wobbling on 131 for 4. Benkenstein and Breese then took over with great authority, putting on 222 for the fifth wicket. Despite Benkenstein (125) falling with Durham on double Nelson, the visitors took the first days' honours, going to stumps on 379 for 6.
David Hussey continued his fine form this season with a superb150, his second successive hundred in Championship matches, as Nottinghamshire amassed 397 in just 98 overs on the first day against Lancashire at Nottingham. The visitors had Notts in all sorts of trouble at 107 for 5 with Dominic Cork and Tom Smith cutting through the top order. Hussey refused to be dictated to, however, and in just 177 balls he smashed 150 with 22 fours and a six. He was indebted to Mark Ealham (83) who stuck with him for three hours, and together the pair put on 226 for the sixth wicket to hand the momentum back to Nottinghamshire.
On a brisk-scoring opening day at the picturesque ground of Queen's Park, Derbyshire romped to 351 all out against Worcestershire. After losing two early wickets, Chris Taylor fought back with a quick 40 but it was left to Ant Botha at No.6 to really stabilise Derbyshire's innings with a fine 87. But after demolishing Gloucestershire last week, Matt Mason was again in fine form for Worcestershire, never letting Derbyshire get away. He ended with the superb figures of 5 for 49.
Two magnificent hundreds from Michael Powell and David Hemp put Glamorgan well on top against Gloucestershire on the first day at Cheltenham. Brendon McCullum, playing his last game for Gloucestershire, retired after seven balls when he was hit on the hand by Steve Kirby, which effectively left Glamorgan 27 for 2. But with an attack missing their captain and most accurate bowler, Jon Lewis, Gloucestershire struggled all day as Mike Powell (176 not out) belted the bowling to all parts. It was his third hundred in ten days, and he also passed the milestone of 1000 runs in the season. Hemp fell in the second over after tea, but Glamorgan were handily placed at 346 for 2 going into the second day.
Northamptonshire raced to 406 for 4 on a sublime batting track against Essex on the first day at Northampton, thanks to contrasting hundreds from Stephen Peters (178) and David Sales (129 not out). Peters played magnificently, guiding 27 fours in a 277-ball innings lasting just short of six hours. He was joined by his captain, Sales, at the fall of Sourav Ganguly's wicket, who made just 9, and immediately took charge. While Peters was happy to play the anchor role, Sales was characteristically aggressive, launching three big sixes. Together the pair put on 212 before Peters was fourth man out for 178.