Ton for Sir Alastair Cook in county match

·3-min read

Sir Alastair Cook has brought up his first hundred of the year - and the 68th first-class ton of his illustrious career - to put Essex in control of their County Championship match at Worcester.

England's record run scorer had struggled for form during the opening weeks of the season, but showed his class to bat for 330 minutes at New Road on Thursday against Worcestershire, hitting 115 while captain Tom Westley was unbeaten on 75 at the close.

Cook, who struck a masterful 172 at Lord's to help his county clinch the Bob Willis Trophy in September, eventually chopped onto his own stumps off Alzarri Joseph's bowling but Essex finished on 2-266.

It was not such a good day for another ex-England opener in Group One, with Haseeb Hameed out for a second-ball duck in Derbyshire after his record-breaking hundreds in both innings against Worcestershire last week.

The Nottinghamshire vice-captain was able to watch fellow opener Ben Slater continue his fine form with 107 to help the visiting side up to 256 despite Fynn Hudson-Prentice's four for 36.

England paceman Stuart Broad picked up two scalps before the close to help reduce Derbyshire to 8-86 in a dramatic evening session.

Mark Wood was also in the wickets but was overshadowed by Ben Raine, who claimed 5-9 to bowl out Warwickshire for 87 at Chester-le-Street - and that only after a ninth-wicket stand of 52 between Craig Miles and Liam Norwell.

Durham and England seamer Wood played his part with three dismissals while the hosts moved into a slender one-run lead before stumps.

Wickets tumbled in similar fashion at the Oval, Surrey's Jordan Clark helping himself to a career-best 6-21, with Hampshire captain James Vince one of three out for a duck in their total of 92.

Rory Burns was 61 not out at the close with Surrey ahead by 39 runs thanks to his 100-run partnership with Hashim Amla (59no).

Elsewhere in Group Two, another Sam Evans century saw Leicestershire up to 4-264 in their first innings against Gloucestershire.

The opener hit a ton at Surrey last week and followed it up with 102 before he was one of four scalps for Daniel Worrall.

Fifties from Nick Gubbins (75) and Robbie White (70no) enabled Middlesex to secure three batting points against Somerset in Taunton.

On a tough day in the field for Somerset, the visitors were able to close on 6-308 with Jack Leach only bowling seven overs so far on his 100th first-class appearance.

Lancashire struggled at home to Sussex without James Anderson, absent due to a minor calf injury, but Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson and Liam Livingstone were in the wickets.

Stiaan Van Zyl's 79 proved the foundation for Sussex, who ended day one on 7-318.

Yorkshire needed one of their England players to rescue them from a low score. With Joe Root rested, Dom Bess was the unlikely batting hero with 56 to top-score in their first innings of 206.