BACK on the ground where he began his first-class career, Will Smith dug in for dear life this morning and was on 43 out of a total of 143 for four at lunch.

Dale Benkenstein looked back in form after scoring 100 runs over his two innings against Yorkshire but he was out two overs before the break when medium pacer Steven Mullaney nipped one back to have lbw for 27.

There was much interest in whether Chris Broad would appear after departing with what was described as “a tight groin” when he conceded 20 runs in three overs last evening.

Although he bowled only five overs this morning, he looked much better and gave Scott Borthwick a fair amount of trouble.

The youngster was down to come in at No 3 and had only a short wait as nightwatchman Chris Rushworth hit three fours off Ajmal Shahzad then got out.

Rushworth has looked comfortable with the bat this season and it was a shame to see him waft carelessly outside off stump and edge to Chris Read.

Borthwick was never comfortable against some quality bowling, edging Shahzad just over the slips on his way to 16 before he played back and edged Luke Fletcher to Read.

When Graeme Swann came on for his first bowl since elbow surgery Smith defended his first ten balls then dispatched a leg-side full toss to the boundary.

Trying to keep his score moving, Smith took three sharp singles to mid-on off Swann and would have been run out off the third had the shy hit the stumps.

Benkenstein had made only four when he drove Swann for a straight six and he progressed very fluently until he was surprised by Mullaney.