Siddharth Kaul took four wickets and impressed with the ball but it was a testing first day for Northamptonshire against Gloucestershire on Day 1.

Miles Hammond hit 112 (133 balls), his first century in two years to help propel Gloucestershire to 338 for eight at the close of play.

Despite hitting eight fifties last season, and three so far this year, this was the first time Hammond had gone on to reach three figures since making 169 against Hampshire in Cheltenham, the town of his birth, in 2022.

While batting was never straightforward with swing on offer throughout the day, Hammond took the attacking route, hitting 17 boundaries and reaching his milestone by swotting Northamptonshire quick George Scrimshaw high over fine leg for a big six. Gloucestershire’s Australian overseas signing Cameron Bancroft also contributed a solid 53 at the top of the order.

Indian international Siddharth Kaul meanwhile made an immediate impact on his Northamptonshire debut, taking four wickets for 58 in 23 testing overs, including three in the afternoon session. Ultimately though, his new county were unable to press home their advantage of having the visitors 119 for three as Gloucestershire made hay in the afternoon sunshine against some loose bowling.

Northamptonshire did stage a good late fightback, taking three late wickets with the new ball including one for evergreen seamer Ben Sanderson, playing his 100th first-class match for his adopted county.

Northamptonshire won the toss and decided to bowl, fielding a largely new look attack, with Scrimshaw playing only his second game for the Tudor Rose, and Nottinghamshire spinning all-rounder Liam Patterson-White coming in on a one-match loan deal.

Gloucestershire batted solidly during the morning, Bancroft taking on the extra pace of Scrimshaw, pulling him four and cutting him crisply for two more boundaries.

But it was the former Derbyshire bowler who made the first breakthrough, getting one to lift to Ben Charlesworth (16) who could only edge behind.

Northamptonshire continued to apply pressure and create chances in the hour before lunch. New batter Ollie Price took 29 balls to get off the mark and both he and Bancroft edged balls which landed just short of the slips.

After the interval, Kaul picked up the big wicket of Bancroft when he fell lbw to the third delivery of the session. The bowler, who is hoping to impress the Indian Test selectors during his Northamptonshire stint, bowled consistently all day, finding plenty of movement to trouble the batters.

Kaul then accounted for Price (10) with a peach of a delivery which angled in before swinging away to take the edge, Emilio Gay taking an excellent diving catch at second slip.

Hammond though looked in fine form, unfurling two glorious swivel pull shots against Scrimshaw before slapping him square for another boundary and driving Kaul firmly through the covers. He also took on the spin of Patterson-White, twice dispatching him over the infield.

He was joined in a partnership of 75 for the fourth wicket by James Bracey (33) who cover drove Sanderson for two fours and hit Patterson-White over midwicket before he became Kaul’s third scalp, adjudged lbw to a full one which shaped back in.

Hammond and skipper Graeme van Buuren (46) then put on 67, with runs flowing freely as Northamptonshire failed to capitalise on the movement on offer. Hammond finally fell soon after celebrating his century when he came down the wicket to Patterson-White and chipped the ball to midwicket where Ricardo Vasconcelos held a stunning diving catch.

van Buuren brought out the sweep against Patterson-White to take Gloucestershire past 300 before the momentum swung back Northamptonshire’s way.

Sanderson had been unlucky not to pick up a wicket earlier in the day, but had been wayward too, leaking runs down the legside. He finally drew the edge from van Buuren with Vasconcelos taking a sharp catch at third slip. Then Tom Price (23), dropped early in his innings, was finally caught at slip to give Luke Procter a well-earned reward after toiling hard all day. Zafar Gohar became Kaul’s fourth scalp when he edged behind, but the bowler was denied a fifth in the penultimate over when Gay dropped Marchant de Lange in the slips.