- County Cricket round-up
Notts hit back after dismal start at Trent Bridge
Bowlers reigned supreme at Trent Bridge on the opening day of the new County Championship season, where no less than 20 wickets fell in the clash between Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire.
The home side would have feared the worst when they were asked to bat first and could only muster 118 all out, visiting paceman Richard Jones claiming six for 32. But a defiant 51 not out from Paul Franks was to prove important for Notts as their seam attack hit back strongly to restrict Worcestershire to 130 all out in reply.
It leaves the game interestingly poised and unlikely to go the distance, although poor batting, rather than the state of the pitch, is largely to blame for its advanced state.
Former England paceman Amjad Khan took five for 57 as Surrey were dismissed for 264 in their Division One clash with Sussex. On a chilly opening day at the Oval, the hosts were indebted to half-centuries from Zander de Bruyn and Tom Maynard, who hit an unbeaten 86 off 101 balls.
However, Surrey struck back before the close by reducing Sussex to 105 for five.
Vernon Philander needed just three balls to grab his first wicket for Somerset as Middlesex were reduced to 118 for four after a rain-delayed start at Taunton.
The South African seamer had opener Sam Robson caught behind for a duck in the first over when the match began at 2.45pm and went on to claim three for 21 from 12 overs before bad light ended play at 5.35pm. But the equally impressive Joe Denly stood firm on his Middlesex debut and was unbeaten on 64 when a heavily curtailed day ended with only 36 overs bowled.
In Division Two, Dan Redfern celebrated a double first to lead an impressive Derbyshire fightback on the first day of the match against Northamptonshire at Derby.
The 21-year-old left-hander scored his maiden first-class century and also achieved the honour of becoming the first batsmen to make a hundred in the 2012 season. Ross Whiteley (83) shared a stand of 160 in 39 overs with Redfern, who made 110, following a fine spell from Jack Brooks which reduced the home side to 50 for four after Northants had won the toss.
Whiteley finally fell to Brooks who finished with five for 61 as Derbyshire were bowled out for 286 but Northants slipped to 28 for three to trail by 258 at the close.
Leicestershire staged an astonishing fightback against Glamorgan on a dramatic opening day at Grace Road. They recovered from the shock of losing two wickets to the first two balls of the game to post a competitive total of 249, with Claude Henderson scoring an unbeaten half-century and Ramnaresh Sarwan making a vital 41 on his Leicestershire debut.
Then Matthew Hoggard, Robbie Joseph and Nadeem Malik had Glamorgan reeling with devastating spells as the Welshmen staggered to 25 for five in 11 overs at the close of a remarkable day's cricket.
Yorkshire were given an early warning that they will have to fight every inch of the way to get out of the Second Division as Kent's batsmen took control on the first day of the Championship season at Headingley.
Winning the toss on a day of blue skies and unbroken sunshine, Kent made generally unruffled progress to 345 for five by the close, their only hiccup coming when skipper Rob Key was run out for a near flawless 97.
And Billy Godleman equalled his career-best score as Essex were bowled out for 364 on the first day against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford.
Godleman, 23, displayed a mixture of patience and a series of punishing strokes to score 130 as he left the visitors wondering if their decision to field first on winning the toss was a wise one. He experienced a few anxious moments early on, beaten a couple of times as the new ball nipped about but then settled in to provide the rock upon which the Essex innings was built.
Godleman needed 99 balls to reach his half-century and a further 82 to complete his third hundred for the county that contained 14 fours and a six. He was to gather another couple of boundaries before he was bowled by Ian Saxelby just before the close.