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Wickets tumble in England county action

An incredible 85 wickets fall on the second day of England's first-class season as bowlers cash in on favourable conditions

An incredible 85 wickets fell on the second day of England's County Championship as early season conditions and inclement weather made batting treacherous across the country.

At Lord's alone 26 wickets fell in the day in the Division Two clash between Middlesex and Northamptonshire, with James Harris taking 5-9 in 5.2 overs for the home side.

Northampton collapsed to be all out for 71 in 21.2 overs, before their bowlers hit back – led by Black Caps seamer Doug Bracewell's 3-31, which included bowling Western Australian Hilton Cartwright for a duck – to bowl Middlesex out for 151 in 38.3 overs.

Harris had earlier survived the end of Middlesex's first innings, top scoring with an unbeaten 46, while Northants trail by 293 with two days left to play and all 10 second-innings wickets still in hand.

Northampton's batting collapse was not the worst on the second day of the new County Championship season, with Kent dismissed for only 64 by visitors Gloucestershire in their Division Two clash at Canterbury.

A wet outfield, which meant no play was possible on Friday's opening day, kept the players in the pavilion until after lunch on Saturday.

But when the game did start, left-arm paceman Matt Taylor revelled in the conditions to take 4-20, with Kent dismissed inside 19 overs. Australia's Daniel Worrall claimed 2-20 from six overs.

The 20-year-old Zak Crawley top-scored with 15 before Gloucestershire were indebted to Gareth Roderick's fifty as they struggled to 8-110.

At Old Trafford England seamer Jake Ball took 5-54 for Nottinghamshire as Lancashire were bowled out for 158.

Notts were then reduced to 6-127 by stumps, with Australia's Joe Mennie claiming 2-26 in 11 overs for Lancs.

In a comparatively high-scoring game, South Australia's Travis Head made nine from 12 balls for Worcestershire as they were bowled out for 211 against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

The home side was then reduced to 8-163 in their second innings, but hold a 242-run lead with Hashim Amla hitting 36 before he was run-out.

The best of the batting came from Warwickshire, with former England star Ian Bell hitting 70 while Tim Ambrose was unbeaten on 76 as the home side reached 9-284 at Edgbaston.