COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND UP : Somerset rescued by familiar pairing

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Northamptonshire made all the early running on a cold day at Northampton but Somerset's seventh-wicket pair of Graham Rose and Simon Ecclestone foiled any further advances.

Andy Hayhurst chose to bat first and saw his side reduced to 68 for 6 as Paul Taylor, John Hughes and Kevin Curran took two wickets each before the pair, who put on 101 against Surrey in the Benson and Hedges match on Tuesday, rescued matters. They shared 153 in 42 overs to lead Somerset to a respectable 242. That looked even better when Northamptonshire lost Alan Fordham, Russell Warren and Tim Walton for 40 which they advanced to 75 for 3 at close.

Rose hit a six and 10 fours before he was bowled for 84 while Ecclestone's 81 was his highest score in first-class cricket.

Durham were another side with a poor start. Surrey had them at 45 for 4 but half centuries from Jimmy Daley (55) and Mark Saxelby (68 ) put on 83 and it was two former Surrey players who held them up further. David Ligertwood and James Boiling spent almost two hours together as Durham reached 235 for 8 at close.

Ligertwood's unbeaten 38 was his highest first-class score to date while Boiling weighed in with a patient 18.

Any hope the Championship leaders Glamorgan had of capitalising on their fine start were soon over as just 14 minutes play took place against Sussex at Swansea. That proved more than long enough for Stephen James. He was lbw to the second ball by Jason Lewry.

As play finished there - four o'clock - it was just starting at Worcester where Graeme Hick made another unbeaten half-century after another bad start by a batting side. Worcestershire recovered from 18 for 3 to 78 without further loss against Middlesex.

The rain did prevail at Bristol where Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire will try again to start today.