It was advantage Finn as the two England bowlers who are next in line went head to head in the First Division of the County Championship yesterday.
Middlesex paceman Steven Finn took 2 for 17 from 10 overs as struggling Durham were skittled for just 102 at Chester-le-Street.
Former England batsman Paul Collingwood was one of Finn's victims but the bowler did not have the pleasure of picking up Graham Onions' scalp. One of Finn or Onions will play in the second Test against South Africa at Headingley on Thursday if the England selectors decide to omit local boy Tim Bresnan.
When it came to his turn to bowl yesterday, Onions picked up the sole wicket of Middlesex opener and captain Chris Rogers, but by then he had made 59. Onions took 1 for 36 off 14 overs but Middlesex also struggled, limping to 144 for 7 at the close.
There was also a clatter of wickets at Trent Bridge, where title hopefuls Nottinghamshire routed Sussex for just 171. Andre Adams claimed another two victims but Neil Carter was probably the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 41. Sussex batsman Luke Wells put up the main resistance with 54.
In reply, Notts closed on 88 for 1, with England Twenty20 opener Alex Hales dismissed cheaply by former England smearer Amjad Khan.
Title-chasing Warwickshire banked three batting points against Surrey as resurgent captain Jim Troughton topped up an opening stand of 130 by Varun Chopra and Ian Westwood at Edgbaston.
After scoring only 50 runs in his first nine innings of the season, Troughton has made 81 against Sussex, 132 against Somerset and now an unbeaten 74.
Surrey got themselves in contention as the First Division leaders slipped back to 197 for 4 in the afternoon, but understudy wicketkeeper Richard Johnson came along with a timely 49, his highest Championship score, to help Warwickshire to a first-day total of 322 for 6.
Recalled from a loan at Derbyshire because of an injury to Tim Ambrose, Johnson was confident enough to pull Jon Lewis for six before Stuart Meaker struck twice with the new ball in the final hour.
Johnson's miscued drive to mid-off ended a partnership of 98 with Troughton. If the morning belonged to Warwickshire as Chopra and Westwood put together their second century stand of the season, it was Surrey's afternoon with two wickets for Chris Jordan and one apiece for their spinners, Gareth Batty and Murali Kartik.
In the tour match at Derby, Australia A managed a quickfire 362 for 4 off 72 overs with Ed Cowan – who Australia hope may resemble England run machine Alastair Cook when the first team arrive for the Ashes next summer – managed 109. Derbyshire closed on 57 for 1 with Yorkshire left-armer Mitchell Starc picking up the sole wicket.