Northamptonshire’s prospects of playing in Specsavers County Championship Division One next season were greatly enhanced following a productive first day against promotion rivals Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Steady afternoon rain caused 66.4 overs to be lost, yet there was still time for second-placed Northamptonshire – who need four points to secure promotion – to reduce their hosts to 80-6. Gloucs vs Northants scorecard

A draw will, in all likelihood, be enough to see both sides promoted ahead of Glamorgan, who must achieve a convincing win at Durham if they are to supplant either in the top three.

Ben Sanderson took 2-19 to advance his personal tally for the season to 60 wickets, while Ben Charlesworth did his best to keep Gloucestershire’s first innings afloat, with a defiant 35 not out.

Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson took two wickets on the day of his England call-up Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson took two wickets on the day of his England call-up Lancashire spinner Matt Parkinson took two wickets on the day of his England call-up

At Grace Road, Richard Gleeson picked up 6-43 as Lancashire bowled Leicestershire out for just 155.

There were also two wickets for leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, including that of his twin brother Callum, to mark his call-up to England’s squads for the Test and T20 series in New Zealand. Leics vs Lancashire scorecard

Lancashire, confirmed as Division Two champions last week, closed on 2-1, Keaton Jennings bowled for a golden duck by Foxes seamer Chris Wright.

Sam Robson and Dawid Malan hit half-centuries as Middlesex built a solid platform on a truncated first day against Derbyshire at Lord’s. Middlesex vs Derbys scorecard

Dawid Malan is closing in on 1,000 runs for the County Championship season Dawid Malan is closing in on 1,000 runs for the County Championship season Dawid Malan is closing in on 1,000 runs for the County Championship season

Robson batted fluently for his 93 from 163 balls, sharing a 90-run, third-wicket partnership with Malan, who remained undefeated on 51 when bad weather brought proceedings to a premature close with his side on 176-3.

Malan, who has been named in England’s T20 squad for their tour of New Zealand, still requires another 16 to pass the landmark of 1,000 County Championship runs for the season.