Nick Compton's attempt to become only the third batsman since the war to complete 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May is in danger of ending in frustration after Worcestershire's batsmen dominated the opening day of the match with Somerset at New Road yesterday.
Compton, who usually bats at No 3, needs to score 59 runs before the close of play today to become only the ninth to achieve the feat and the first since Graeme Hick in 1988. But after winning the toss and opting to bat first, Worcestershire lost only three wickets.
A Somerset attack including three teenagers made the home side work hard for their runs but there were half-centuries for Phil Hughes, the opening batsman dropped by Australia during the winter, Daryl Mitchell and Vikram Solanki, who survived dropped catches on 19 and 20 on his way to 82 not out as Worcestershire closed on 270 for 3.
Luke Procter, the Lancashire all-rounder, finished with a career-best 5 for 17 as Durham's poor start to the season continued at Chester-le-Street, where they were bowled out for 102. But Lancashire, themselves struggling to find their best form, fared only marginally better in reply on a day in which 18 wickets fell.
Phil Mustard's Durham side were no match for a swinging ball after Kyle Hogg had reduced them to 34 for 4 by taking three wickets in seven balls, collapsing to their lowest all-out total of the season, 102, as Procter picked up where Hogg left off.
But Graham Onions, who had been in the England 13 for the Trent Bridge Test, exploited the conditions equally effectively by taking four wickets in 16 balls as the visitors stumbled to 19 for 4. Lancashire closed on 141 for 8.
Half-centuries from Ed Joyce and Ben Brown enabled Sussex to recover from 33 for 4 to close on 242 for 8 against Middlesex at Lord's after winning the toss and electing to bat.
The Second Division leaders, Derbyshire ,suffered a rude shock at Bristol, where they were skittled out for 95 by Gloucestershire, whose close catching was of a high quality.