With heavy rain and blustery wind forecast for Saturday, teams would have been mindful about making progress on day two of this week’s County Championship action.
There was a familiar face who was eager to get straight into the action, with England’s Jimmy Anderson picking up the first wicket of the day, removing Glamorgan’s Billy Root.
But with scoring having been low and slow on Thursday, batsmen enjoyed taking advantage of better conditions to gain some revenge.
Nottinghamshire’s Steven Mullaney delivered a captain’s innings as he scored his first County Championship century since the end of 2019 with a 117 to put his side on top against Essex.
His fine knock, along with Lyndon James’ 51, helped Notts to a 224-run first-innings lead, with most of the Essex damage done by Shane Snater’s career-best 7-98.
Sir Alastair Cook (35) was among three Essex wickets to fall in their second innings, with the champions trailing by 95 runs, closing on 129-3.
It’s all to play for between Warwickshire and Worcestershire with the game evenly poised at the end of day two.
Wicketkeeper Michael Burgess (101) completed his maiden Warwickshire century to help the Bears post 343, before the Pears began their fightback.
Jake Libby struck 74 as Worcestershire replied with 198-4 at Edgbaston.
Craig Overton put in a virtuoso performance for Somerset, starring with both bat and ball as they continued their dominance over Hampshire, who were skittled out on day one.
He top-scored with 74 before taking three wickets in Hampshire’s second innings as the hosts slipped to 92-3, still trailing by 165 runs.
Group Two leaders Gloucestershire are chasing a fourth victory in five games and moved themselves into another good position on day two against Middlesex thanks to James Bracey’s 75.
The England hopeful was dropped on 36, but took advantage of the reprieve to score his fourth half-century of the season as the visitors posted 273 for a first-innings lead of 63.
After posting 210 in the first innings at Lords, Middlesex rather stumbled at the beginning of their second innings, closing on 26-3, and are still 37 behind.
Rory Burns (74no) and Mark Stoneman (59no) helped Surrey fight back strongly in pursuit of Leicestershire’s mammoth first-innings total of 496.
The duo have put on 146 for the first wicket and will look to keep chipping away at the 350-run lead on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, 22-year-old wicketkeeper Harry Swindells (103) had scored his maiden first-class ton for Leicestershire.
Jimmy Anderson was straight into the action to give Lancashire a good start to the day against Glamorgan, taking the early scalp of Billy Root before going on to claim 3-40.
Dan Douthwaite (61) and Callum Taylor (58) ensured a decent total for the visitors as they added 81 for the seventh wicket, with Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood also helping himself to three wickets.
Glamorgan made 344 before Alex Davies and Keaton Jennings made a steady start in response, ending the day unbeaten to take Lancashire to 22-0.
Joe Root made 41 before glancing paceman Matt Quinn behind but it was Gary Ballance’s unbeaten 91 which lit up Yorkshire’s first innings as they closed on 240-5.
Kent had earlier posted 305 with England’s Zak Crawley falling ten runs short of a century and Jack Leaning three runs short of 50.
It was the return of the Gareth Berg and Ben Sanderson show at The County Ground, and the Sussex batting order must be thoroughly sick of the sight of the duo now.
After taking five wickets each in the first innings, they both picked up two more today to put Northants firmly in control.
Sussex’s Stiaan van Zyl dug in to remain unbeaten on 71 at the close but he will need some real heroics to stop Sussex succumbing to a heavy innings defeat as they trail by 181 runs with six wickets remaining.