Somerset pulled a rabbit out of the hat to complete a stunning comeback victory over Kent while Hampshire eased to a win against Essex.
But there wasn’t such luck for Nottinghamshire, denied a victory over Yorkshire thanks to two stars who could be lining up together in this summer’s Ashes series.
Here’s how the first round of fixtures draw to a close.
Result: Somerset 171 (Abell 49; Claydon 5-46) and 243 (Bartlett 63; Claydon 4-46) beat Kent 209 (Dickson 43; Gregory 3-26) and 131 (Stevens 43*; Gregory 5-18) by 74 runs, at Taunton
Somerset completed a dramatic turnaround as Lewis Gregory’s miserly 5-18 from 13 overs saw Kent collapse to 131 all out at Taunton.
George Bartlett (63) and Jack Brooks (35*) were the heroes with the bat as Somerset recovered from 111-7 to 243 in their second innings, giving them at least something to defend.
And they duly delivered as Kent’s bid for 206 runs fell majorly short, reduced to 45-6 thanks to Gregory’s heroics before Brooks and Josh Davey helped wrap up the tail, despite Darren Stevens’ unbeaten 43.
Points: Somerset 19, Kent 4
Result: Hampshire 525-8d (Northeast 169) beat Essex 164 (A Cook 50; Edwards 5-51) and 274 f/o (Bopara 107; Abbott 5-77) by an innings and 87 runs, at the Ageas Bowl
Not even Ravi Bopara’s century heroics could stop Essex going down by an innings defeat to Hampshire in their opening match at Hampshire.
The former England international resumed on 60* overnight and carried on where he left off, getting to 107 before becoming the latest victim of Kyle Abbott, who took five wickets.
Simon Harmer chipped in with 62 in their partnership of 111 but with nobody else passing 36, the innings defeat proved inevitable – with Sam Northeast the star of the show having made 169 earlier in the week.
Points: Hampshire 24, Essex 1
Result: Nottinghamshire 408 (Clarke 112; Olivier 5-96) and 329-5d (Clarke 97*) drew with Yorkshire 291 (Lyth 81; Patel 3-31) and 277-2 (Root 130*, Ballance 101*), at Trent Bridge
England captain Joe Root joined Gary Ballance in batting Yorkshire out of trouble as both hit centuries to rescue a draw against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Nottinghamshire declared overnight leaving Joe Clarke just three runs away from making twin centuries in the match.
But their bid for a victory started in spectacular fashion as Jake Ball had openers Harry Brook and Adam Lyth dismissed early on.
But old pros Root and Ballance steered the visitors out of danger before both converted their form into centuries, their partnership crossing 250 before the match was declared a draw.
Points: Nottinghamshire 12, Yorkshire 9