Nasser Hussain: remember him? The England Test captain may have slipped off the international radar for six weeks, but he was back in the limelight on a rare outing for Essex in the Championship at Chelmsford. He recorded his first century of a season which had brought him a measly 82 runs at an average of 16.40. It was also his first hundred in the competition since 1999.
Essex replied strongly to Kent's 381, Hussain moved inexorably on to 192 not out off 308 balls with 27 fours - five short of his highest score for the county and 15 shy of his Test best - and they piled up 423 for 5, Aftab Habib contributing 77 in a stand of 174.
At the bottom of Division One, Leicestershire let a struggling Nottinghamshire off the hook at Leicester. Kevin Piet-ersen hit 88, Paul Franks made his maiden first-class hundred at No 7, and they put on 149 after the visitors had been reduced to 123 for 5.
While the South-African born Pietersen has high hopes of making England's one-day side when he is qualified, Franks can look back on a solitary appearance against West Indies in 2000 before injuries beset the all-rounder. He remained unbeaten on 123 off 190 balls with 21 boundaries as his side were all out for 321.
The Indian opener Virender Sehwag responded with a dazzling century of his own, off just 104 balls with 19 fours, and was on 121 not out as the hosts ended up on 159 for 2.
In Division Two, the New Zealander Stephen Fleming fell two runs short of a century on his Championship debut for Yorkshire at Taun-ton. He and Matthew Wood put on 165 for the first wicket in reply to Somerset's 275. Wood, the stand-in captain for Anthony McGrath, made a career-best 207 not out off 291 balls with 27 fours and a six as Yorkshire scored 409 for 6.
Hampshire's Derek Kenway made light of the difficulties of batting at the Rose Bowl, opening up with 115 off 206 balls with 15 fours and three sixes, but the hosts then collapsed to 330 all out in reply to Gloucestershire's 185.
At Sophia Gardens, Glamorgan were bowled out for 270 by Worcestershire, who have recorded three straight wins. In reply they made 315 for 8.
Wickets kept tumbling at Northampton as Derbyshire were all out for 160 in reply to Northamptonshire's 203. Second time out, the hosts managed 243 to set a target of 287. Off-spinner Nathan Dum-elow took 5 for 78 to add to his first-innings 5 for 82 and a valuable knock of 52 not out.
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