Derbyshire v Kent at Derby
Stumps, Day One: Derbyshire 381-7 (Madsen 103, Broom 96, Thakor 86*) v Kent
Wayne Madsen’s century ensured Derbyshire’s weekend continued in high spirits as Kent were put to the sword on Day One in the Midlands.
After their excellent Natwest T20 Blast win over Lancashire on Saturday, the hosts could be forgiven for a sluggish start in the four-day contest.
Chesney Hughes, Billy Godleman and Hamish Rutherford all fell in single figures as Matt Coles gave Kent a stunning start, reducing Derbyshire to 35-3.
But Madsen and Neil Broom put on 161 for the fourth wicket, and while the former fell not long after bringing up three figures, Shiv Thakor carried on the runs, finishing unbeaten on 86.
Broom fell four short of a century of his own, but Thakor and Tom Taylor ensured the hard work was not to be outdone, taking the hosts from 312-7 to 381-7 by the close, just 19 shy of maximum batting points.
Glamorgan v Essex at the SWALEC Stadium
Stumps, Day One: Essex 29-1 trail Glamorgan 260 (Cooke 63;N Napier 5-82) by 231 runs
Graham Napier’s five-wicket haul put him top of the Division Two wicket-takers list and gave Essex control over struggling Glamorgan on a green SWALEC Stadium deck.
The day started well enough for Glamorgan, as 27s from Jacques Rudolph and Mark Wallace took them 96-1, only for a collapse to 164-7.
That was in spite of Chris Cooke’s 63 and Aneurin Donald’s defiant 45*, giving them 260 in the first innings – an unlikely score given the earlier damage.
It was Napier starring the show however, accruing a 15th first-class career five-for before Essex were given their own opportunity to bat.
And the green-ish pitch suited Glamorgan’s bowlers too, with no visiting batsman looking comfortable as Nick Browne succumbed to a Graham Wagg lbw – the only damage done thus far in Wales.
Leicestershire v Worcestershire at Grace Road
Stumps, Day One: Leicestershire 253-4 (Horton 89) v Worcestershire
Leicestershire’s top three ensured their excellent start to the season continued with a solid opening day against Worcestershire at Grace Road.
Paul Horton top-scored with 89, while fellow newcomer Neil Dexter made 50. Angus Robson also made a half-century, but neither of the trio were able to give Leicestershire a real position of dominance by getting to three figures.
Mark Cosgrove fell for just four as the hosts lost three wickets within five overs, two of which to Matt Henry, while Jack Shantry and Charlie Morris took a wicket apiece.
Mark Pettini’s late boundary ensured a second batting bonus point from the 83 overs available, and he resumes on 45 alongside Kevin O’Brien ahead of a crucial first session on Monday.
Gloucestershire v Northants at Bristol
Stumps, Day One: Northants 134-7 (Shaw 4-38) v Gloucestershire
Only 40 overs were possible on a rain-interrupted day at the Brightside Ground, Bristol, where Northants reached 134-7.
There was some excellent bowling from the Gloucestershire seamers. The best bowling came from Josh Shaw, the young Yorkshire seamer on a season-long loan at Nevil Road, who bowled with hostility and accuracy in returning the excellent figures of 4-38 from 13 overs.
He was well supported by the bowling unit in general, and some indifferent Northamptonshire batting on a slow pitch.
Without the cheerleaders, flares and hunting horns of the opening T20 night under the new floodlights at Nevil Road things assumed the more sedate rhythms of the four day game, albeit on Friday’s pitch.
But Northamptonshire soon lost wickets after winning the toss. Opener Ben Duckett, having a fine season so far, suggested he was still in T20 mode as he quickly lost patience, aimed an expansive drive at Shaw and was caught behind for 11.
The young Yorkshireman then bowled Rob Newton, making his first appearance of the season, for 18 in his next over to make Northamptonshire 32/2.
Rob Keogh eyed the short boundary on the Gloucester Road side of the ground, so enjoyed by Sussex’s Kiwi star Ross Taylor on Friday, and was tempted to slash outside off stump from a Craig Miles short one and was caught at third slip for 5.
Skipper Alex Wakely suffered the same fate in Miles’s next over, this time to a more modest push, again caught by Michael Klinger. At 40-4, Northamptonshire may have been considering the wisdom of batting first.
Adam Rossington started brightly, on-driving Kieran Noema-Barnett into the flats at the Ashley Down end for six but straight after this he guided the same bowler to Chris Dent at slip.
As with Duckett and Keogh it was an undistinguished shot. With half the side out for 59 Northamptonshire were in trouble, largely of their own making.
It was interesting cricket which rewarded the patience of the small, crowd, many waiting all morning for the cricket to start.
After tea, and more brief rain delays, Richard Levi and Stephen Crook took advantage of some loose deliveries to effect a mini- recovery. But with the total on 110 Levi, who had been uncharacteristically subdued, played all round Shaw to be bowled for 23.
Seekkuge Prasanna, Northamptonshire’s T20 signing making his Championship debut in this match, showed similar discomfort facing the moving ball as his fellow countrymen at Headingley last week.
After an on-driven six off Shaw, he became the Yorkshireman’s fourth victim, lofting him to fine leg in gloom and cold. It was to be the last act of a frustrating day as the heavens opened and the groundsmen were called upon yet again.
After play Josh Shaw said that the Gloucestershire bowlers had made most of the overcast conditions. The ball was swinging all day and he was delighted with the accuracy of the bowling which had been aided by some lapses in concentration by the Northamptonshire batters.