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County Championship round-up: Tomlinson paves way for Hampshire march

James Tomlinson claimed a career-best 8 for 46 and Kevin Pietersen hit a faultless century as Hampshire dominated the opening day at Taunton yesterday.

Left-arm seamer Tomlinson took the first six Somerset wickets at a cost of just 12 runs in 4.2 overs to leave the home side in tatters at 23 for 6 before Craig Kieswetter (32) and Ben Phillips (39) helped them to 126 all out. In reply, Hampshire were struggling at 3 for 2 before Pietersen (100) joined John Crawley (78 not out) in a third wicket stand of 190. They closed on 194 for 3, a lead of 68.

Off-spinner James Middlebrook led a fine Essex fightback in their Second Division match against Middlesex at Chelmsford. The visitors approached the 200 mark with only a couple of wickets down but Middlebrook and Ryan ten Doeschate reduced Middlesex to 263 for 7, with Andrew Strauss out for 88.