Alex Lees, the 20-year-old Yorkshire opening batsman tipped as a future England player by Geoff Boycott, scored his second century of the season as Derbyshire suffered at Chesterfield, where the visitors hope to regain top place in the First Division from unbeaten Sussex with a fifth win.
The left-handed Lees, who scored his maiden first-class hundred against Middlesex at Lord’s last month, hit 16 boundaries on his way to three figures and made 151 in a stand of 311 for the second wicket with fellow centurion Phil Jaques in near-perfect batting conditions. Lees, in his first year on a professional contract, was 171 not out as Yorkshire closed day one on 367 for 2.
Bottom-of-the-table Derbyshire enjoyed a bright start when Mark Footitt had Adam Lyth caught behind in the seventh over but rarely had a sniff of another wicket until Jaques edged Tim Groenewald to first slip for 139 in the 88th over. Derbyshire, whose batting line-up will be minus the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul, will not be cheered by the news that Tim Bresnan will join the match if released by England.
Ed Joyce made his second century of the season for Sussex against Middlesex at Hove, but the home side were all out for 229.
Warwickshire’s belief that they can reinvigorate their title defence gathered momentum at Edgbaston, where Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 217 in reply to the champions’ 463. Stand-in captain Varun Chopra declined to enforce the follow-on and Warwickshire instead added 180 for 6 declared, in which Rikki Clarke hit 54 off 41 balls with three sixes in a sixth-wicket stand of 104 with Chris Woakes (60). It left Nottinghamshire to chase 427 to win from a minimum 107 overs.
In the Second Division, five batsmen made centuries, but Worcestershire sank to 22 for 6 against Gloucestershire after losing six wickets in 30 balls for only four runs. Pace bowler James Fuller took a hat-trick and 18-year-old seamer Craig Miles two in two balls. Joe Leach’s 82 not out and a Gareth Andrew fifty led a recovery to 182 all out.
Kent’s Rob Key extended his overnight 105 to 180 at Canterbury, where Brendan Nash hit his second consecutive ton, while there were hundreds for Lancashire’s Ashwell Prince and Simon Katich, and for Leicestershire’s Ned Eckersley.