Stumps, Day Two: Yorkshire 298/9 (Lees 87; Shantry 4/60, Andrew 4/83) trail Worcestershire 311 by 13 runs, at New Road
An unbeaten 78 from Tim Bresnan led Yorkshire out of danger after an enthralling second day at New Road.
The former England all-rounder struck 11 fours in his 95-ball innings, helping the County Champions recover following incisive bowling from Gareth Andrew and Jack Shantry.
Will Rhodes and overseas star Cheteshwar Pujara were both out for ducks early on, but skipper Alex Lees, who narrowly missed out on a century with 87, and Benefit Year recipient Rich Pyrah began the recovery with a 108-run partnership for the third wicket.
Andrew and Shantry continued to wreak havoc, with the pair both claiming four wickets as the visitors collapsed from 112/2 to 193/7, before Bresnan led the recovery alongside Jack Brooks who knuckled down for 26 valuable runs.
Yorkshire will continue their batting effort tomorrow, with Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom eyeing up 300 for a third bonus point, as well as hoping they can eke Yorkshire into a slender lead with just one wicket remaining.
Stumps, Day Two: Hampshire 220/9 (Ervine 57*) trail Sussex 444 (Brown 144*) by 224 runs, at the Ageas Bowl
Sussex’s seamers ran through the Hampshire top order before Sean Ervine’s battling half-century led the semblance of a recovery for the hosts at the Ageas Bowl.
With 444 runs behind them, Sussex began on the front foot with the new ball with five wickets in five consecutive overs as Hampshire collapsed from a reasonable start of 47/0 to 95/7 and in serious trouble.
Winter recruits Tymal Mills and Ajmal Shahzad were thrown straight into the Sussex line-up, with Mills in particular bowling at a fair pace, although it was Shahzad who captured the key wickets of Michael Carberry, Will Smith and captain Jimmy Adams, who batted at six.
Zimbabwean Ervine led the recovery, with Chris Wood a willing and able partner as the pair put on 109 for the eighth wicket in less than 20 overs. Ervine will resume in the morning with an unlikely 75 runs needed to avoid the follow-on in their opening Championship game.
Earlier in the day, Ben Brown made his sixth first-class hundred for the Sharks, eventually finishing unbeaten on 144 thanks to some strong lower-order support from Shahzad (35) and Steve Magoffin, who made 41, as Sussex look to turn the screw in their bid for a title push.
Stumps, Day Two: Northants 333 and 68/2 lead Gloucestershire 296 (Jones 80; Willey 4/72) by 105 runs, at Wantage Road
Four wickets from David Willey helped Northants to a first inning lead, as Gloucestershire narrowly missed out on a third batting point at Wantage Road.
Willey followed up his 62 runs with destruction of the visitors’ tail, taking three wickets in four balls as Gloucestershire lost four wickets for no runs with the 300 mark in sight. Geraint Jones’ side had earlier looked set for a narrow first innings lead, with the captain himself making 80 while wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (56) joined his skipper in making a half-century.
The rest of the middle/late order struggled, however, with only James Fuller making any decent contribution (35) before he became Willey’s second victim after Azharullah removed Roderick to add to the scalps of the openers from the previous evening.
Northants’ reply began with a stutter as Craig Miles continued his excellent performance in the match, removing both openers, Stephen Peters and Richard Levi, to move onto eight wickets in the match. Captain Alex Wakely and Rob Newton saw the hosts safely to the close, and with a lead of over 100 runs, aspirations of an early season win will be firmly on the minds of the Wantage Road faithful.
Stumps, Day Two: Leicestershire 202/1 (Robson 82*, Eckersley 81*) trail Glamorgan 513/9d (Bragg 120, Rudolph 111) by 311 runs, at Grace Road
Runs continued to be on the order of play at Grace Road, as Leicestershire closed Day Two on 202/1 following Glamorgan’s mammoth first innings of 513 for nine declared.
Despite losing Dan Redfern in the eighth over for 24, the hosts enjoyed a profitable, and much-needed, spell in the middle with Angus Robson and Ned Eckersley both closing in on centuries by the time stumps were drawn, although there is still a deficit on 311 runs between the two teams.
The pair played in a similar style, finding the boundary with plenty of regularity on what was undoubtedly another strong day for batting in the Midlands.
Having gotten to his century the previous evening, Will Bragg batted an extra seven overs for Glamorgan this morning before falling to the expensive Atif Sheikh for a career-best 120. Bragg was not the only man to reach a personal best, with David Lloyd finishing unbeaten on 59 from just 65 balls to register his maiden first-class half-century in the process as the Welsh county declared in the afternoon session.
The warm weather and the batting-friendly nature of this pitch suggests the game will fizzle out to an inevitable draw, although if desperation to get an early win hits one or both of these sides, then we could see some fireworks late on the fourth evening.