The Harmison brothers shared seven wickets as Durham restricted Sussex to 214 at Hove, but Sussex ended the day in strong style with three strikes to leave the visitors floundering on 10 for 3. Corey Collymore grabbed two wickets and Jason Lewry the other as the gloss was well and truly wiped off Durham's day. It was Ben Harmison who earlier edged the wicket tally, with four to Steve's three, but the latter didn't concede a run off the bat until his 11th over. There were more problems for the Sussex top order as they slumped to 45 for 4 in humid conditions, including the loss of the in-form Matt Prior for 9 the day he was overlooked for the England one-day squad. Prior is also acting as stand-in captain after Chris Adams' run of 84 consecutive Championship matches was ended by a back injury. It was left to Chris Nash to hold the innings together with 75, while Rory Hamilton-Brown hit 62 in his first Championship innings for Sussex.
Surrey were grateful for half-centuries from Scott Newman and James Benning to at least push them towards a respectable first innings total against Somerset at Whitgift School. When Newman was lbw to Alfonso Thomas for 84, Surrey were 140 for 5, but Benning counter-attacked with a 38-ball half-century and provided some much-needed resistance. When Benning was stumped off Ian Blackwell, Matthew Nicholson put bat to ball - as he did against Yorkshire last week - hitting seven boundaries in his 36. The wait goes on for Mark Ramprakash's 100th hundred after he was caught behind off one that bounced and squared him up from Charl Willoughby for 17.
There was no play on the opening day between Hampshire and Kent at The Rose Bowl due to a waterlogged outfield.
Seventeen wickets tumbled at New Road as Essex lurched to 80 for 7 in reply to Worcestershire's 176. Kabir Ali claimed three, including Ravi Bopara lbw for 1, while Steve Magoffin and Simon Jones nabbed two apiece. Ryan ten Doeschate was threatening late in the day but Jones removed him, through a catch at second slip, then Alex Tudor two balls later and now Worcestershire are sensing a lead. It was a day for the quick bowlers throughout as Tudor and Tony Palladino did the early damage before Danish Kaneria nipped in with his legspin. Ben Smith (60) produced the only half-century of the day and by the close his innings was taking on even greater significance. Worcestershire were 66 for 4 when Graeme Hick couldn't get his bat out of the line of one that lifted, then Tudor returned to remove Steven Davies and Gareth Batty in the same over. However, if Essex thought they were in control that all changed over the next couple of hours.
Gloucestershire threatened to waste an opening stand of 149 between William Porterfield and Craig Spearman, but Chris Taylor's unbeaten 72 kept them in the driving seat against Warwickshire at Gloucester. Spearman was in typically dashing form as he laid into the bowlers during his 105-ball 95, however his wicket prompted a collapse for 5 for 51 as James Anyon got among the middle order. Taylor, though, resisted the pressure and built another important stand of 118 with Stephen Snell (45). Anyon broke through again late in the day, but if Taylor can get some support from the tail 400 isn't out of Gloucestershire's reach.
HD Ackerman provided Leicestershire with a solid platform against Glamorgan on a day limited to 51 overs at Grace Road. He added 94 with Tom New and 56 with Boeta Dippenaar as Glamorgan struggled to make the most of bowling first. David Harrison collected two wickets, including the important late strike of Dippenaar to remove one of Leicestershire's major batsmen.
County Championship Division Two
County Championship Division One
England Domestic Season