Division Two: Daryl Mitchell and James Vince in the runs again; 16 wickets at Bristol
Daryl Mitchell and James Vince were in the runs again, while 16 wickets fell on day one between Gloucs and Kent.
Last Updated: 19/05/14 9:18pm
Worcestershire skipper Mitchell chose to bat first at New Road and led the way alongside Matt Pardoe (45) in an opening stand of 117.
Mitchell hit 17 fours before his dismissal for 97 - caught by Oliver Newby off Graham Napier's bowling - reduced Worcestershire to 156-4 in the afternoon session.
Several of the middle and lower order made starts but nobody was able to push on with Essex's attack sharing the wickets around, two each for Newby (2-52), Napier (2-61), Monty Panesar (2-57) and Jesse Ryder (2-25).
Essex reached 52-2 in reply to cut their deficit to 239 at stumps, Saeed Ajmal pinning Tom Westley (24) and nightwatchman Matt Salisbury lbw (1).
A total of 16 wickets fell on the opening day at Bristol, Kent closing on 33-6 in reply to Gloucestershire's 252.
Gareth Roderick's 59 helped Gloucestershire recover from 64-4 to earn a batting point, a performance put in perspective by Kent's own struggles late in the day.
Kent were 2-4 after 21 balls of their reply - including ducks for Rob Key, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Brendan Nash - as James Fuller (3-23) and Will Gidman (2-1) did the damage.
Ben Harmison (8) and Darren Stevens (8) also departed before the close, which came with Kent trailing by 219 runs.
And at Grace Road, James Vince took his championship run tally for the season beyond 600 with an innings of 70 as Hampshire reached 321-8 after opting to bat first against Leicestershire.
Vince hit 12 fours in his 88-ball stay and is now averaging 100.16 in the competition with four half-centuries and two centuries in nine innings.
He put on 92 with Adam Wheater (57) for the fourth wicket after Hampshire had slipped to 91-3 before being bowled by Leicestershire seamer Nathan Buck, who finished the day with 4-78.