County Championship Division One: Hampshire set the early pace

Planet Sport reviews the first weekend of action in Division One of the County Championship.

Hampshire recorded a convincing win over Somerset on the opening weekend of the County Championship Division Season on Saturday.

In other matches, Essex vs Kent and Surrey vs Warwickshire finished as high-scoring draws, while Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire's clash finished as a stalemate with both sides having victory in sight.

At Southampton, Hampshire recorded a victory by an innings and 113 runs over their hosts, after their fast bowlers produced a commanding display to set up a win inside three days.

Mohammad Abbas, Keith Barker and Kyle Abbott took the majority of the wickets as Somerset were dismissed for 180, and the visitors replied with 428 in their first innings thanks largely to Joe Weatherley's 168.

Man of the Match Abbas then took for more second time around as the hosts were skittled for 135.

At Chelmsford, Essex scored 514 in their first innings after tons by Nick Browne, Alastair Cook and Tom Westley. Kent then replied with a score of 581, which included centuries from Ben Compton and Jordan Coxm as well as several other contributions with bat in hand.

The game finished with Essex finishing their second innings on 68/1.

A similar outcome was recorded in Birmingham, where Surrey scored 428/8 in their first innings with Ben Foakes' unbeaten 132 the highlight.

They looked like they might have a big lead when Warwickshire found themselves on 40/4, but tons from Matthew Lamb and Michael Burgess steadied the shop and saw them score 531 in response.

The match was called off with Surrey on 43 for no wicket in their second innings.

Finally at Northampton, the match between Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire had a nail-biting finish, as the latter finished eight down but 27 runs shy of the target of 299.

Gloucestershire made 223 in their first innings thanks largely to James Bracey's century, with Ben Sanderson taking four wickets.

Northamptonshire earned a small lead after they scored 288, with Bob Keogh's 113 keeping the scoreboard ticking.

A Ryan Higgins century and three other fifties Gloucestershire score a brisk 363 second time around, setting up a fine finish on the fourth day.

Northamptonshire gave a good go of it and were at 233/4 at one point, but with wickets tumbling and time running out, they finished the day on 272/8.

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