KP puts England woes aside
Kevin Pietersen put his England issues to one side with an imperious 163 for Surrey on the opening day of the LV= County Championship clash with Somerset at Taunton.
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Batting for a minute short of four hours and facing 168 balls, Pietersen struck 20 fours and three sixes in recording his 45th first-class century.
Saj Mahmood claimed four for 62 but Somerset then lost openers Arul Suppiah and Marcus Trescothick with only 16 on the board before closing on 42 for two.
Ian Westwood led Warwickshire's drive for batting points and Paul Franks battled to keep Nottinghamshire in contention in the clash of Championship title contenders at Edgbaston.
Westwood made an impressive 81 and Franks took three for 52, but a stand of 102 by Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke protected Warwickshire's position at top of Division One as they closed on 298 for five.
Lancashire slipped still further into relegation trouble as they fell to 58 for five against Durham before the lower middle order battled back.
Graham Onions took three for 26 in 20 overs but Gareth Cross hit 57 in a stand of 72 with Tom Smith, who then added an unbroken 91 with Kyle Hogg on his way to 86 not out.
Skipper Daryl Mitchell made 129 not out to keep Worcestershire in the game on 295 for eight against Middlesex at New Road.
Mitchell's second Championship century of the season came off 273 balls and he put on 114 for the fourth wicket with Alexei Kervezee, who made 55 on his return to first-team action. Toby Roland-Jones took four for 67.
Division Two leaders Derbyshire bowled out Essex for 245 but crashed to 28 for three in reply.
Left-arm spinner David Wainwright took four for 64 as Graham Napier top-scored for Essex with 42 and added 74 for the eighth wicket with David Masters.
The latter then took two for three in seven overs against his former county and Napier removed nightwatchman Tony Palladino before the close.
Bad news before the toss was soon swept aside by Yorkshire on the first day of their important match against Gloucestershire at Scarborough.
The visitors were dispatched for 215 after being nine for four at one stage, with three wickets apiece for Steven Patterson, Moin Ashraf and Azeem Rafiq, but Yorkshire then suffered one or two upsets of their own before finishing the day well placed on 61 for two.
Yorkshire, holding third spot, need a win to boost their promotion chances but they were unable to include senior paceman Ryan Sidebottom because of back spasms or Richard Pyrah, who yesterday broke a bone in his left hand for the second time this season.
Brendon Nash made 108 not out as Kent closed on 322 for six against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The West Indies international added 134 with Geraint Jones, who was dismissed for 52 from the last ball of the day. Openers Rob Key (68) and Sam Northeast (52) earlier put on 110 while Robert Taylor took four for 77.
Opener Niall O'Brien's unbeaten century led Northamptonshire to 241 for four against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
The Ireland wicketkeeper batted throughout the first day to reach 114 from 298 balls and put on 154 with Alex Wakely (75).