Steve Smith’s LV= Insurance County Championship debut innings was overshadowed by Sussex captain Cheteshwar Pujara’s classy century at Worcestershire.
Attention was fixed on former Australia captain Smith, whose union with Sussex for three Division Two matches ahead of this summer’s Ashes has raised eyebrows, after the visitors lost two quick wickets on the second morning.
But, just as he was finding some rhythm, Smith fell for 30 to a debatable lbw call before Pujara demonstrated why he is as highly regarded as the Australian with a fine 136 in Sussex’s 373 all out.
Australian fast bowler Michael Neser took the spotlight away from the returning Jonny Bairstow with a brilliant hat-trick as Glamorgan dominated against Yorkshire.
Bairstow made an unbeaten 20 in his first competitive innings after more than eight months out injured but he could only watch on from the non-striker’s end as Neser ripped through his colleagues at Headingley.
The 33-year-old, left out of this summer’s Ashes touring party, showed the Australia Test selectors what they could be missing as he claimed career-best figures of seven for 32 off 11 overs to help skittle Yorkshire for 106.
Nottinghamshire opener Haseeb Hameed fell three runs short of a first century of the season before Lancashire took the upper hand on a rain-affected second day at Trent Bridge.
England bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad both finished the day wicketless as Lancashire overturned a first-innings deficit of 35 to lead by 63 runs with nine second-innings wickets in hand.
Essex seamer Jamie Porter claimed four wickets to pose the first serious questions about Surrey’s credentials of retaining their title.
Porter took his season’s total to 18 in four Championship games to help dismiss Surrey for 240, with the lead extended to 89 by Nick Browne and Sir Alastair Cook in five overs before stumps.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore blasted a thrilling first half-century for Somerset to bat them into a promising position against Northamptonshire at Taunton.
The visitors began by extending their overnight first-innings score of 137 for four to 255 all out. In reply, Somerset slipped to 61 for three before Cameron Bancroft (39) helped Kohler-Cadmore on his way to an unbeaten 95 off just 71 balls, with his side 199 for four and trailing by 56.
Sam Hain passed 50 for the third time in five innings this season as Warwickshire continued to dominate Hampshire.
Hampshire had found hope with three wickets in a truncated morning session to fashion a collapse from 83 without loss to 95 for three but half-centuries for Alex Davies (51), Ed Barnard (91 not out) and Michael Burgess (60no) accompanied Hain’s 85 as Warwickshire ended day two on 364 for five – a lead of 135.
Leus du Plooy and Wayne Madsen batted Derbyshire into a dominant position against Leicestershire at Derby.
The pair shared a stand of 122 from 184 balls, with Du Plooy failing by six runs to become Derbyshire’s first century maker of the season. The hosts closed on 326 for seven, a lead of 204.