Mark Ramprakash marked his return to Surrey’s first-team by being caught behind off Steve Magoffin for eight as the visitors were bundled out for just 124 after being put into bat at Horsham. Magoffin and James Anyon tore through Surrey’s top-order, reducing them to 32 for five at one stage, before Gareth Batty led a lower-order fightback with a valiant 32. Anyon bowled Jade Dernbach to join Magoffin on four wickets, with Naved Arif picking up the other two. Sussex then closed on 81 for two in reply, with Chris Nash hitting 38, and Luke Wells – playing instead of the dropped Murray Goodwin – unbeaten with 33.
Wickets tumbled at Chester-le-Street as Durham closed on 28 for two in their second innings after bowling out Warwickshire for 197 in their first. The wicket of Paul Collingwood to the very first ball of the day in the hosts’ first innings had earlier set the tone for the day, as they lost five wickets for 49 runs to be all out for 277. Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood looked to have stemmed the flow with an opening partnership worth 61 when the Bears kicked off their reply, but Stephen Harmison removed Westwood for 36 to re-open the floodgates. Chris Rushworth did the bulk of the damage to end with five for 46 – his maiden five-wicket haul – but Westwood remained the highest scorer thanks to his 109-ball innings.
Somerset endured a day to forget against Middlesex at Lord’s. They too lost a wicket to the very first ball of the day as Craig Kieswetter edged Gareth Berg behind to fall for his overnight 48. Jos Buttler, Craig Overton and Alfonso Thomas then fell without scoring as Tim Murtagh, Gareth Berg and Toby Roland-Jones ended with three wickets apiece and Somerset were bowled out for 173. However, Middlesex adopted an entirely different path to the one taken by Warwickshire when they batted, reaching 321 for two by the close, thanks to centuries from Chris Rogers and Joe Denly. The pair added 245 for the second wicket after Sam Robson had fallen to Thomas for nine.
Defending champions Lancashire progressed to 203 for six on the opening day against championship hopefuls Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Andy Carter removed Paul Horton for three in the eighth over, but Stephen Moore and Karl Brown added 53 for the second wicket before falling in quick succession to Andre Adams. Ashwell Prince emerged as the day’s batting hero, ending with 63 as he countered the threat from Adams and the other Notts seamers, and shared stands of 60 with Steven Croft (29) and 52 with Gareth Cross (35).
In Division Two, Derbyshire ended on 191 for five after a rain-interrupted second day against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Matt Lineker was the first to go for just nine, bowled by Nathan Buck (two for 52) with the score on 43, but the rest of the visitors’ top-order all made contributions, with Wes Durston’s 44 and Dan Redfern’s 40 not out the best of them.
It was something of a damp start to this year’s Tunbridge Wells festival as only an hour of play was possible on the first day of Kent’s match against Hampshire. The visitors closed on 50 for three after 15.1 overs, with Mark Davies removing Jimmy Adams and Bilal Shafayat in single figures after Charlie Shreck had subjected Michael Carberry to the same fate. Simon Katich rallied the Hampshire cause slightly to end unbeaten with 21, but Kent will reckon to have had the better of today’s short passage of play.
Only 50 overs were possible on day one at Wantage Road, where Essex ended on 138 for four after being invited to bat by stand-in Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely. With David Sales and Andrew Hall both injured, Wakely took charge of a much changed home side, which saw returns for Jack Brooks and Chaminda Vaas, as well as a first Championship game of the year for opener Ben Howgego. It was Vaas who struck first for Northamptonshire, removing Tom Westley with the score on 15, before seeing Owais Shah run-out by Howgego the very next ball. However, Ravi Bopara again showed his class and ended unbeaten on 65, sharing stands of 40 with Mark Pettini (32) – who fell as the first in a double-strike by David Willey – and an unbroken 81 with James Foster (25 not out).
Just 34 overs were possible on the opening day of Yorkshire’s match at Colwyn Bay. Glamorgan won the toss and chose to bat, reaching 117 for three at stumps, with Stewart Walters unbeaten with 37, and Gareth Rees making 35 before falling as one of two wickets for Mitchell Starc. Yorkshire made a surprise change to their starting eleven, with axed leg-spinner Adil Rashid making a return at the expense of Anthony McGrath.
In other news for the club, Ryan Sidebottom has signed a one-year contract extension which will keep him at Headingley until the end of 2014.
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Durham v Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Somerset at Lord’s
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Lancashire at Trent Bridge
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Surrey at Horsham~
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Yorkshire at Colwyn Bay
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Hampshire at Tunbridge Wells
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Essex at Wantage Road
Weather Forecast: Grim is the word which best sums up tomorrow’s weather, with a band of heavy rain set to be in place across England and Wales for much of the day. It will come in from the south and be at its worst there around lunchtime, before moving northwards in the afternoon.
© Cricket World 2012