On the first day of the County Championship Division One games at Taunton, Edgbaston and Headingley it was most definitely the bowlers who emerged on top by the close of play. Ironically though all three teams that batted first actually chose to do so themselves after winning the toss.
Somerset v Sussex
It was Sussex, at Taunton against Somerset, who achieved the highest score of the day as they reached 210-9 by close. Somerset, lying in third place in the table before the start of play, made early inroads into the Sussex batting line-up as they reduced the visitors to 25-3 at one point. Thankfully Ed Joyce was able to continue his good form as he resisted all that Somerset could throw at him as he held together the innings with an unbeaten 99 as Sussex gained one batting point. Joyce will hope to reach his fourth Championship century of the season when play resumes tomorrow.
The rest of Sussex's batsmen struggled to post any other decent scores with Matt Machan (30) and Luke Wright (24) the next highest scorers. The pick of the Somerset bowlers were Peter Trego (3-47), Craig Overton (2-41) and Alfonso Thomas (2-63) as they captured three bonus points. Somerset will regret dropping Joyce before he got off the mark but on the whole will be satisfied with their performance on day one.
Warwickshire v Lancashire
Edgbaston also witnessed bowlers on top as the home side Warwickshire restricted lowly Lancashire to 188-6. Most of Lancashire's batsmen made starts but it was 19-year-old Alexander Davies (59) that top scored and impressed.
He was supported by Andrea Agathangelou (31) and Steven Croft (30) but England's Jos Buttler fell for a disappointing duck as Warwickshire's bowlers, particularly New Zealander Jeetan Patel (3-52) and Chris Wright (2-44), made inroads. Warwickshire ended the day with two bowling bonus points and Lancashire will resume on day two knowing that their hopes of posting a decent score will rest on the shoulders of in-form Tom Smith who ended the day unbeaten on 21.
Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire
Second placed Yorkshire ended day one at Headingley on top but not without having to resist a fight back from Nottinghamshire later in the day. Nottinghamshire decided to win the toss and put their faith in their own batsmen, which was justified given the batting unit at Trent Bridge have accumulated the most bonus batting points in the division this season.
However, Yorkshire outlined why they are serious contenders for the title as they reduced a very impressive Nottinghamshire top order to 46-4 as England outcast Tim Bresnan (3-43) made the early inroads. Despite a brief rally by the middle order Bresnan's opening bowling partner Jack Brooks (3-74) helped reduce Notts to 139-8. At this point Notts fought back with Australian Peter Siddle (39*), ably supported by Luke Fletcher (29), helping to push their final first innings score to 205 before they were finally bowled out.
Siddle (2-13) then continued the momentum as he struck with the new ball to remove Yorkshire's impressive openers Adam Lyth (0) and Alex Lees (9) to reduce Yorkshire to 21-2. Leaning and Gale stood firm for the remaining overs as Yorkshire battled to 52-2. Although Yorkshire will be the most satisfied with their performance on day one they will be disappointed to have let Notts back in to the game as they bid to go top of the table. The first session on day two could well dictate how the rest of the game develops.
All the games have a lot more cricket left in them and day two looks to be a pivotal day for all the teams concerned.
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