Relegation-battlers Yorkshire and Hampshire saw 15 wickets fall on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship Division One clash at Headingley.
Both teams came into the penultimate fixture not yet mathematically secure of their place in the top flight again next season.
However, given bottom side Worcestershire were dismissed for 94 in the morning session at Chelmsford while Lancashire have just one match left to play, those safety fears could yet prove unfounded.
READ: Yorkshire fought back well with five evening wickets after being bowled out for 184 during a weather-affected opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Hampshire at Emerald Headingley.#YourYorkshire— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) September 18, 2018
Morning rain prevented any play until 12.40pm, with Hampshire opting for an uncontested toss before bowling Yorkshire out for 184. Fidel Edwards returned four for 83 from 16 overs.
Gary Ballance made 30 to pass 10,000 career first-class runs before Hampshire were restricted to 79 for five as Tim Bresnan and Jack Brooks each took two wickets.
At Chelmsford, Essex paceman Jamie Porter claimed a career-best seven for 41 against struggling Worcestershire, who were brought back down to earth after winning the Vitality Blast.
Murali Vijay then made 85 and Tom Westley 55 as the home side finished on 252 for five.
Newly-crowned champions Surrey produced another impressive batting display against Somerset as Mark Stoneman hit 85 in their 368 for four at Taunton.
Rory Burns made 78 in a first-wicket stand of 147 with Stoneman. Ollie Pope (44) and Jason Roy (63) also produced solid displays, with Dean Elgar finishing the first day at 72 not out.
Division Two leaders Warwickshire took control against Sussex at Hove as Ian Bell produced an unbeaten century to pass 1,000 first-class runs for the season.
Bell will resume at 108 not out, with Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 86 in his final away game before retirement, as Warwickshire, who won the toss and elected to bat, made 308 for two as Sussex’s own promotion hopes faded.
Earlier, Will Rhodes had hit 50 and Dominic Sibley contributed 44.
At Canterbury, New Zealander Matt Henry took four for 45 as Kent bowled out Glamorgan for 186 in 67.1 overs, with rookie number three Jack Murphy last man out for a career-best 80.
In reply, the hosts had reached 93 for two by stumps. Zak Crawley will resume unbeaten on a fluent 56.
Northamptonshire dominated Gloucestershire on the opening day at Bristol, where seamer Brett Hutton took four for 65 and Nathan Buck also claimed three wickets.
Here is the match summary at the end of day one. pic.twitter.com/VNgXX9s2Ya— Northamptonshire CCC (@NorthantsCCC) September 18, 2018
The hosts were all out for 125 – and that with some 35 overs lost to bad light or rain.
In reply, Northants were four for one at stumps, after two overs which saw nightwatchman Hutton trapped lbw by David Payne for a three-ball duck.
At Grace Road, Leicestershire battled to 316 for eight against Durham. Opener Ateeq Javid made 58, while Neil Dexter added 43 and Lewis Hill finished unbeaten on 42.
Sam Robson’s 134, his first century of the season, saw Middlesex make progress against Derbyshire at Lord’s.
Tony Palladino, though, then produced a spell of four wickets for three runs in just 16 deliveries.
However, an unbeaten 96 from Max Holden saw the hosts end the opening day at 350 for eight.