For the first time in 18 years, all 18 first-class counties were playing four-day cricket on the same week and it provided some excellent cricket.
Early season County Championship form could dictate which players represent England later in the summer, and there were plenty of fine performances by English youngsters in the second week of the season.
Cook all class in Essex win at Taunton
In his first county fixture since resigning as England Test captain, Alastair Cook showed his undoubted batting class with a match-winning century in Essex’s eight wicket win over Somerset in Taunton.
After dismissing Somerset for 209 on the opening day, Essex slumped to 129 all out in their first innings with Cook top scoring on 52.
New Zealand international Neil Wagner then took 6-48 as Somerset could only muster 174 in their second innings, with Jack Leach and Craig Overton providing 50 of those runs in what looked like a vital last wicket stand.
However, Cook showed all of his Test class on a difficult pitch, making 110 from 214 balls while haring vital partnerships with Nick Browne (35) and Tom Westley (86*) as Essex chased down the 255 run target for the loss of just two wickets to get their first win since gaining promotion back to Division One last Summer.
Yorkshire also gained their first win of the season, dominating from start to finish in their innings and 88 run victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Ben Coad followed up his eight wickets in the loss against Hampshire by claiming match figures of 10-102 in Birmingham as the 23-year-old seamer continued to impress in the absence of Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett and Jack Brooks.
Peter Handscomb, Tim Bresnan and Adil Rashid each made half-centuries in Yorkshire’s innings of 381, with Rashid adding three wickets on his season debut as Warwickshire mustered innings of 178 and 115 to suffer their second loss by an innings in a week.
At the Rose Bowl, defending champions Middlesex hung on for a draw with Hampshire.
98 from Michael Carberry and 99 from Rilee Rossouw saw the home side take an 82-run lead on first innings scores, and despite five wickets from Kyle Abbott which left Middlesex 215-8, the bowling trio of Ollie Rayner, Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones batted out more than 30 overs to salvage the draw.
There was also a draw at The Oval, where final day centuries from Scott Borthwick (108*) and Kumar Sangakkara (136) helped Surrey take something out of their game with Lancashire.
Lancs had been on top for much of the game after Jordan Clark (140) and 42-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul (182) had help them recover from 122-6 to make 470 in their first innings, but their bowlers couldn't get the 20 wickets needed for victory.
Notts and Kent bowling attacks shine as both counties claim second wins
After being relegated to Division Two last season, Nottinghamshire have maintained their perfect start to this campaign with a nine-wicket win over Durham.
Only a tremendous unbeaten century by Keaton Jennings in Durham's second innings came close to derailing the Outlaws, with the seam attack of Jake Ball (6), James Pattinson (5), Luke Fletcher (5) and Harry Gurney (3) shining once again, sharing 19 of the 20 Durham wickets.
Fletcher also weighed-in with a career-best 92 in Notts' first innings, with Pattinson also hitting his second 50 of the season, before an unbeaten 60 in the second innings from Greg Smith saw the away side home by nine wickets.
Kent also enjoyed their second straight victory to start the campaign, defeating Sussex by 226 runs in Hove.
Jofra Archer was the star of the opening day, taking 7-67 as Kent were dismissed for 304, before the same man made an unbeaten 60 to share a 99-run last wicket partnership alongside Ben Brown (90) as Sussex ended just 13 runs behind after first innings'.
Sam Northeast then put Kent in complete command of the fixture, smashing four maximum's in his knock of 173 from 181 balls as the away side declared on 413-5 from 97 overs to leave Sussex an impossible chase on the final day.
It took just 50 overs of day four before Sussex had succumbed to defeat, with 40-year-old Darren Stevens following up his two innings of 68 and 71* by taking 5-51 as Kent won by more than 200 runs.
In a game seemingly heading towards a draw, the captains at Derby agreed on setting up a result and Northamptonshire chased down 326 in two sessions on the final day to defeat Derbyshire by three wickets.
Following similar first innings scores of 281 and 307, rain on the third day looked to have set the game up for a draw, before the captain's agreed on the plan.
Billy Godleman (156*) and Luis Reece (168) were the main beneficiaries for Derbyshire, sharing in a record opening stand for the county of 333, before a declaration came, leaving Northants needing 326 from 65 overs.
Rob Newton got the Northants chase off to a strong start, making 98 from 124 balls, but it was Richard Levi's innings of 99 from 79 deliveries which set them up for the win.
Levi was one of three wickets claimed by Jeevan Mendis, but that couldn't stop Northants who won on the penultimate ball of the match with Rory Kleinveldt smashing a six off fellow South African Daryn Smit.
Gloucestershire bounced back from their disappointing loss against Kent to open the season by dismantling Leicestershire in an innings and six run win in Bristol.
After being inserted by the visitors, Gloucestershire became the first county team to declare their first innings this season, making 466-8 before deciding to pull-in. Will Tavare played the long game, making 101 from 277 deliveries before being dismissed, with Graeme van Buuren (79), Jack Taylor (60) and David Payne (54) all passing 50.
When it was Leicester’s time to bat, they never recovered from being 14-3, with Liam Norwell the chief destroyer, claiming figures of 5-66 as they made 259 before being asked to follow-on.
It was no better second-time around, with the top order slumping to 51-5 as the Foxes were bowled out for 201 to lose by an innings. Norwell claimed another five-wicket haul in the second dig to take ten in the match for the second time in his career, while a word must be said for Ned Eckersley who made 88 and 85 in Leicester’s two innings and the result would have been even more one-sided if it wasn’t for his efforts.
Glamorgan joined Leicestershire in suffering two losses to start their campaign, going down to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Worcestershire in Cardiff.
David Lloyd’s 88 was the only shining light in Glamorgan’s first innings effort of 207 before a century from Tom Kohler-Cadmore, plus fifties from John Hastings and Ed Barnard helped Worcestershire respond with 403. 19-year-old debutant Josh Tongue then took 5-45 as Glamorgan were knocked over for another below-par 223 before Worcester reached their target of 28 in five overs to start their season with a maximum 24 point away win.