Warwickshire fought hard on the first day under their new captain, Darren Maddy, as early honours were shared with Sussex at Edgbaston, on a very green strip created to nullify Mushtaq Ahmed. Maddy failed in his first innings as skipper, but Jonathan Trott and Ian Westwood added 161 for the second wicket. Trott, who bagged a pair on the opening Championship match against Lancashire, stroked 10 fours before falling in unlucky circumstances; he pulled a long hop into short leg, which rebounded to silly point where Carl Hopkinson hung on. It handed Mushtaq his first wicket and he shared six scalps with fellow Pakistani Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. Each time Warwickshire threatened another major stand the overseas duo broke through but Tim Ambrose held firm with a half-century and Sussex may yet rue Chris Adams's drop at slip late in the day.
Hampshire continued to ensure Surrey have problems on re-entry to the top flight, as they moved to 352 for 6 at The Oval. Jimmy Adams (86) and Michael Brown (42) put on an opening stand of 82 after Shane Warne batted first. But Surrey's bowlers chipped away and although Chris Benham made a half-century, his was just one of two - Hampshire's batsmen tending to make starts and then failing to kick on. Ian Salisbury's legspin was the most effective weapon, he took three wickets including Dimitri Mascarenhas just before the close.
Half-centuries for four of Essex's batsmen - but not Alastair Cook, who collected a duck - lifted them to a healthy 329 for 4 against Glamorgan at Chelmsford. The batsmen made the most of Simon Jones's absence, Mark Pettini and Varun Chopra both making 86, putting on 165 for the second wicket before Pettini, defeated in the flight, was stumped off Robert Croft. Chopra departed not long after, feathering through off the seam of his former England Under-19 team-mate Huw Waters. James Foster came and went for just 7, but Ronnie Irani (84*) and Ryan ten Doeschate (55*) brought up their half-centuries and they had reached their hundred partnership six overs before the close. Cook's early departure, a leading edge to short midwicket, certainly didn't leave them in the soup.
A ninth-wicket stand of 146 between Steffan Jones and Andrew Caddick led a stirring Somerset fightback against Leicestershire at Grace Road. After choosing to bat Somerset lost early wickets to David Masters, including Justin Langer for 14, and RP Singh. Marcus Trescothick held firm reaching 77 before falling to Masters and when Sam Spurway was bowled by Claude Henderson the scoreline read 201 for 8. Less than two hours later it had been transformed as Jones struck his second first-class century off 101 balls. Caddick made 51 before handing Masters his fifth wicket and Somerset's fightback was continued as Charl Willoughby tore through Leicestershire's top order in a short period before the close.
Nottinghamshire scored freely against Gloucestershire with Bilal Shafayat and Mark Wagh leading the way with a second-wicket stand of 162 in 38 overs at Bristol. They both fell in quick succession to Ashley Noffke, the Queensland seamer, although Shafayat should have gone earlier when he was dropped on 23. Samit Patel ensured the momentum wasn't lost as he struck 13 boundaries in his unbeaten 82. Gloucestershire didn't help their own cause by conceding 59 extras with byes and no-balls leading the way.
Johann van der Wath impressed in his first Championship outing for Northamptonshire as his 6 for 49 restricted Middlesex to 258 at Lord's. After opting to bat Middlesex slipped to 127 for 5 with Steven Crook and Lance Klusener also chipping in. Billy Godleman, fresh from his maiden century last week, again showed his abundant talent and led a recovery with 77. Tim Murtagh (40) helped him add 74 for the sixth wicket before van der Wath struck two more quick blows. However, Northants didn't find batting an easy task and lost four key wickets before the close to leave the match interestingly poised.