Ryan Sidebottom gave the England selectors a reminder of his abilities with two economical wickets for Nottinghamshire, but it was the New Zealander Andre Adams who caused Lancashire so much difficulty, picking up 4 for 49 on the opening day at Old Trafford. Sidebottom, returning after his Achilles injury, removed both the openers as they prodded forward while Luke Fletcher, making his debut, also grabbed two. Only Ashwell Prince threatened to dominate, bringing up his fifty from 103 balls before going on to make 74. Steven Croft bashed 31 from 61, but Lancashire were rolled for an underwhelming 189 in the 73rd over. In reply, Nottinghamshire reached 52 for 1.
Sean Ervine's 109 and 74 from Nic Pothas led Hampshire to a composed 341 for 8 on the first day against Sussex Southampton. It was Ervine's first ton for two years and ensured Hampshire had a base around which their innings - which was wobbling at one stage on 145 for 4 - could be launched. Ervine reached his hundred - only his second for the club - from 136 balls and put on 150 with Pothas, though Ervine fell to a rare spell of bowling from Ed Joyce, Sussex's new signing from Middlesex. Sussex clawed back some of the momentum when Corey Collymore picked up two wickets in three overs, but Hampshire strolled off much the happier side.
For a full report from the second day between Somerset and Durham at Taunton click here.
For a full report from the second day between Yorkshire and Worcestershire at Headingley click here.
James Foster cracked 95 while Matt Walker made 98 against his former county as Essex enjoyed the best of the first day against Kent at Chelmsford. Essex were in some difficulty at 115 for 4 after Wayne Parnell, the South Africa allrounder, picked up two early wickets on his county debut, but Foster and Walker put on a vital fifth-wicket stand of 194 before Walker was trapped leg-before by Robbie Joseph, two short of what would have been his maiden ton for his new team. At stumps, Essex were 330 for 7.
Eoin Morgan showed his talent with an unbeaten 114 while Phillips Hughes stroked his way to his second hundred in three innings, as Middlesex dominated the second day's play against Leicestershire at Southgate. Resuming overnight on 99 Hughes had to wait a little as rain delayed the start, but soon took a quick single to gully to bring up his ton. Morgan then stole the show in the afternoon with a selection of audacious strokes, including two huge pulled sixes. After Morgan registering his 134-ball hundred, Tim Murtagh smashed 51 from 71 balls as Middlesex declared on an imposing 493 for 7. Steve Finn, the highly-rated fast bowler who was returning from an ankle injury, didn't take the new ball but made an immediate impact for Middlesex as he surprised Leicestershire with his pace, nicking out three wickets in a hostile spell. Tom New batted calmly for his fifty but fell for 66, with Leicestershire tottering on 161 for 5.
Young left-arm spinner Vikram Banerjee took four wickets, along with Steve Kirby, as Gloucestershire rolled Northamptonshire for just 161 on the second day at Wantage Road. Kirby and Jon Lewis made regular breakthroughs, and even had brief the assistance of their coach, John Bracewell, on the field due to a string of overnight injuries. Nicky Boje offered some resistance with a fiery 58, which included a huge six over the top, but Banerjee made good Kirby's work with a fine spell of controlled spin, aided by useful close-quarter catching as Northamptonshire folded. Gloucestershire then raced to 105 with the loss of William Porterfield for a first-ball duck, as Hamish Marshall scorched 68 from 76 balls to give the visitors a lead of 238.
Glamorgan made up for lost time by declaring on an imposing 403 for 6 against Derbyshire on the second day at Cardiff. Jamie Dalrymple and Mike Powell both hit hundreds - Dalrymple reach three figures for the second Championship innings running - while Tom Maynard, son of Matthew, stroked his maiden Championship 50 from just 62 balls. James Harris then ensured it was Glamorgan's day, removing both Steve Stubbings and Wavell Hinds leg-before as Derbyshire limped to the close on 37 for 2.