Durham needed a mere six overs and four balls to wrap up their first Championship victory of the season - a steamrollering of Kent at Canterbury. Min Patel delayed the inevitable with a bolshy 61, at nearly a run-a-ball, but he was cleverly deceived by Ottis Gibson's slower ball to hand Durham only their second win against Kent. Gibson, 37, finished with the impressive figures of 3 for 58 as Durham won by the convincing margin of an innings and 56 runs.
Warwickshire toiled hard without any success on the final day of their match against Sussex at Hove, and were scuppered by two brilliant hundreds from Murray Goodwin (214*) and Michael Yardy (159*). The pair broke the county's record for the third wicket with an undefeated stand of 385, which had previously been held by Ranjitsinhji and Ernest Killick against Lancashire at Hove in 1901. There was still a danger of the hosts capitulating on the final morning - they trailed by 41 at the start of play - but Yardy and Goodwin defied the bowlers manfully. Yardy hit 17 fours in his 274-ball marathon, while Goodwin was a touch more aggressive in his strokeplay, lofting two big sixes and 23 fours as the game petered out into a draw.
Chris Read continued his excellent early-season form with an unbeaten, and sprightly, hundred for Nottinghamshire against Yorkshire in what became a meaningless encounter at Nottingham. Rain ruined the first and third day's play, leaving the fourth day a leather-chasing affair. Darren Bicknell struck a patient 95 and Russell Warren made 93 before Read took the attack to Yorkshire. After a relatively sedate 85-ball fifty, he opened his shoulders - taking four fours off one John Blain over - moving to his hundred in style with a lofted six. The run-spree gave Nottinghamshire - last year's champions and considered by many to be favourites this year - maximum bonus points, and Read his second hundred in as many games.
A brutal 157 from David Sales set Essex an unlikely 381 to win against Northamptonshire. After losing three wickets with 96 on the board, Alastair Cook - who made 88 in the first innings - caressed an excellent unbeaten 103 to steady the ship, and enhance his claims for an England place against Sri Lanka in May. After Cook blunted the game, the two captains agreed to the draw and took seven points each.
Rikki Clarke's brilliant 130 helped save Surrey's blushes on the final day against Derbyshire at the Oval, avoiding Surrey's first opening-round defeat since 1990. At one point, it seemed Derbyshire - who suffered a dreadful season last year - might record their first victory at the Oval in 40 years when Surrey slipped to 246 for 5, holding a lead of just 62. Clarke, though, combined well with Azhar Mahmood (46), with whom he put on 125 in 31 overs. His eighth first-class hundred came from 152 balls, and shortly before half-past-five the players shook hands leaving Surrey on 476 for 8.