Ben Duckett took advantage of an early moment of luck to record an unbeaten century on the opening day of Nottinghamshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship game against Middlesex.
Duckett’s outside edge was found by Ethan Bamber but the ball sailed between the wicketkeeper and first slip, with the England opener following through with his first three-figure score of the season.
Middlesex may have been chasing their decision to field first after a 117-run opening stand in just 27.5 overs between Duckett and Haseeb Hameed, who capitalized on his 55 as Bamber had some overdue reward.
Nottinghamshire then slipped to 152 for four but Duckett was a positive presence in the middle, steering his side to 252 for five before poor light playing at Lord’s brought an early end.
Duckett will resume his 119 not out on Friday and is certain to open the batting for England against Australia in the second Ashes Test in two months.
Elsewhere in Division One, James Anderson was in the early wickets for Somerset, who fought back against Lancashire at Taunton courtesy of unbeaten hundreds from Tom Abell and teenager James Rew.
Anderson sent openers Sean Dickson and Tom Lammonby back to the pavilion after Lancashire won the toss, with Somerset slipping to 80 for four as 19-year-old Rew walked out to join his captain Abell .
Rew – born in January 2004, 13 months after Anderson made his international debut – amassed 114 not out and Abell 119no as Somerset finished strongly on 311 for four.
Hampshire closed on 287 for four after being invited to bat first by Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, where Nick Gubbins (125) and James Vince (104no) put on 198.
Poor light and subsequent heavy rain saw Canterbury manage just 42 overs, with Essex being bowled out for 164 for one. Nick Browne (54) and Tom Westley (71) put on an unbroken 121.
In Division Two, Tom Price had a day to remember, rescuing Gloucestershire from a desperate drop with his first-class debut before taking a hat-trick against Worcestershire at New Road.
Gloucestershire reached 45 for seven after being put in when Price walked to the crease but the number nine batsman managed to peel off a first-ball 98, thumping four sixes and 12 fours before running out, helping his side to 231 all out.
Worcestershire then slipped from 58 for no loss to 59 for four, with former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and fellow middle-order batsmen Jack Haynes and Brett D’Oliveira trapped behind successive deliveries.
Price also found the edge of Ed Pollock to finish with four for 38 as Worcestershire were stumped for 118 for seven.
Durham managed to post 382 for six after losing the toss against Glamorgan at Cardiff, with Michael Jones (69), Scott Borthwick (59), Ollie Robinson (73) and Brydon Carse (53 not out) go over half a century.
Tom Alsop top-scored with 95 and Oli Carter’s 60 took Sussex to 275 for five after electing to bat against Yorkshire at Hove.