Somerset and Bears take charge
Somerset and Warwickshire seized control of their County Championship Division One games against Nottinghamshire and Lancashire.
Somerset seized control of their match against Division One leaders Notts after limiting them to 93 for six on the opening day at Trent Bridge.
The west country side won the toss and elected to field, and they reaped the dividends as Peter Trego took three for 24 on a day of frequent rain interruptions. Home captain Chris Read did his best to keep his side competitive with an unbeaten 52 off 60 balls which featured eight fours and one six.
England batsman Ian Bell was in the field as Warwickshire faced reigning champions Lancashire at Liverpool, with the Bears having elected to put their hosts in to bat.
Lancashire reached 125 for five by stumps in a rain-affected encounter, with Karl Brown top-scoring on the day with 46 off 105 balls before he was caught by William Porterfield off the bowling of Chris Wright.
England captain Andrew Strauss' hopes of getting some time at the crease for Middlesex after a disappointing winter on international duty were thwarted by intermittent rain at Lord's, as the first day of the match against Durham was washed out.
It was a similar story in south London as day one of Surrey's match against Worcestershire was abandoned without a ball bowled.
In Division Two, Gloucestershire stumbled to 131 for six at stumps against Kent at Canterbury with Matt Coles the chief threat with the ball.
Coles removed Alex Gidman for 14 after he edged one behind and trapped Hamish Marshall lbw for three before accounting for Benny Howells, who had led the Gloucestershire resistance with 44 off 74 balls, including six fours.
Glamorgan opted to declare at 103 for nine in their home match against Hampshire at Cardiff, as David Balcombe - who took 11 wickets in the defeat to Gloucestershire last week - claimed five for 33.
William Bragg's 92-ball 45 was the one bright spot of the Glamorgan innings, but the next best effort was Gareth Rees' 12. Hampshire were 29 for one at stumps in reply, Jimmy Adams the man out to Huw Waters for three.
Leicestershire reached 24 for one at Derbyshire with only 45 minutes' play possible due to the poor weather.
Tony Palladino, who had taken 10 wickets in his first two championship matches of the season, claimed the only wicket of the day when he trapped Matthew Boyce lbw in the third over. Jacques du Toit and Greg Smith will resume on Friday on 13 and nine not out respectively.
The opening day's play between Yorkshire and Essex at Headingley was a wash-out, although there was some good news for Yorkshire who received confirmation of Phil Jaques' status as a British passport holder, freeing them up to bring in an overseas player. Australian paceman Mitchell Starc has been linked with a move to Yorkshire.