Batsmen make hay in Sunday sun
Durham duo Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick were two of seven players to record County Championship centuries on Sunday.
On a day where bat almost exclusively dominated ball in the seven championship matches taking place, it was Stoneman and Borthwick who led the way with a brilliant 274-run stand for the second wicket - a county record in first-class cricket - against Middlesex.
Opener Stoneman was eventually dismissed for 187 but Borthwick was still there at the close on 164 not out as Durham ran up 411 for four after day one at Chester-le-Street.
The reigning champions averaged more than four runs an over for the day against the current Division One leaders, and it was a similar story at Hove, where visiting Nottinghamshire enjoyed a run-glut against Sussex before closing on 408 for five.
The in-form Samit Patel, currently the second-highest run-scorer in county cricket this summer behind Daryl Mitchell, led the onslaught with an unbeaten 142 while sharing in an unbroken 160-run stand with his captain Chris Read (61).
In the only match already on the second day, Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees also improved impossible to dislodge as they put on an unbroken double-hundred stand against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, the visitors making light of their first-innings troubles in emphatic fashion.
Northamptonshire edged the first day after bowling Yorkshire out for just 136 before reaching 191 for seven at the close, but day two undoubtedly belonged to the visitors thanks to Lees and Lyth.
After Yorkshire had wrapped up the home side's first innings for 251 in the morning session, Lyth (116) and Lees (105) put on a 237-run stand - the highest opening partnership anywhere in the championship this summer - to leave the White Rose county holding a lead of 122 at stumps.
Also in Division One, unbeaten Somerset continued their good early-season form as they made 312 for three after the opening day against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Somerset's South Africa star Alviro Petersen was another to celebrate reaching three figures as he made an unbeaten 109, while Nick Compton fell just short of his own ton as he was bowled by Kabir Ali for 91.
In Division Two, Kabir's cousin Moeen Ali enjoyed a memorable day with the bat as the England international contributed an unbeaten 138 - his first championship ton of the season - to Worcestershire's total of 329 for four against Surrey at the Oval.
Worcestershire skipper Mitchell continued his impressive form with 62 at the top of the order before becoming the first of two victims for Chris Tremlett.
Hampshire, who lead the second division table ahead of Worcestershire, were also among the runs after being put into bat by struggling Derbyshire at the Rose Bowl.
Adam Wheater (87), Will Smith (82) and Jimmy Adams (60) all made half-centuries as the hosts closed on 332 for seven.
The only bowling attack to really enjoy any success on Sunday was Reece Topley-inspired Essex, who dismissed Glamorgan for 244 at Chelmsford.
Topley, making his first championship outing of the season after a stress fracture of his back during the winter, claimed hugely impressive figures of six for 41 in a match which saw Essex spinner Monty Panesar omitted for disciplinary reasons.
The left-armer was left out as a result of an issue with time-keeping, although he will be available for Friday's T20 game.