DAY ONE - CLOSE OF PLAY
MIDDLESEX 233 a/o
MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK
Fifteen wickets fell during an all-action opening day that despite its
thrills and spills fell short in terms of application and technique as
Division One rivals Middlesex and Lancashire crossed swords in the
Specsavers County Championship at Lord’s.
Responding in the day’s third session to a Middlesex all-out total of
233, Lancashire went in at stumps on 113 for five after 34 overs -
still trailing by 120 runs.
Having dismissed the hosts inside 62 overs and two sessions,
Lancashire went out after tea to lose both openers to consecutive
deliveries and with only 22 on the board. Haseeb Hameed was trapped
lbw by Toby Roland-Jones, then, to the first ball of Tim Murtagh’s
next over, Alex Davies padded up to a straight one to also go leg
Dane Vilas scored only five before a shooting Murtagh off-cutter crept
between bat and pad to rearrange the stumps, then Steven Finn enticed
Liam Livingstone with a short one well outside off that the
right-hander cut straight into the hands of Nick Compton at backward
Red rose skipper Steven Croft and ‘crab-like’ veteran Shiv Chanderpaul
dug in for 10 overs in adding 39 until Roland-Jones returned at the
Pavilion End to have Chanderpaul well held in the cordon by Voges for
the final wicket of the day. Moreover, Roland-Jones left the field for
treatment soon afterwards.
The day started with two surprise decisions by Middlesex who, after
dropping their skipper James Franklin, then elected to bat first after
acting captain Adam Voges won the toss.
Having seen extensive cracks to the surface of this Lord’s pitch,
Voges clearly didn’t fancy the task of batting last. Yet, going in
first hardly proved a walk in the park either as the hosts skid to 28
Compton’s was dismissed by with a second ball duck to
the eighth ball of the game. Jumping back and across his stumps and
working to leg, the deposed England opener missed to be sent packing
lbw to Ryan McLaren.
The South Africa all-rounder struck again in his third over,
dismissing Sam Robson with a lifting leg-cutter that Robson duly
followed and feathered to the keeper Davies.
Stevie Eskinazi fenced to third slip against Tom Bailey, who also
accounted for Dawid Malan on the cheap. Caught on the crease, the
left-hander came down late on a ‘fourth stump line’ delivery that slid
through the gate leaving umpire Neil Mallender to uphold the appeal
for caught behind. Malan trudged off shaking his head and clearly
believing he had missed it.
Dropped on 12 by Davies off the bowling of Bailey, John Simpson
combined with fifth-wicket partner Voges to add 52 either side of
lunch before the latter, prodding half-forward and outside the line of
an off-cutter, went lbw for 18.
McLaren struck next, setting up James Harris perfectly with a brace of
big out-swingers followed by an off-cutter that trimmed the top of off
stump as Harris shouldered arms.
Bailey enjoyed a fourth victory when Simpson, on 29, top-edged an
attempted pull for Davies to sprint toward backward square leg and
pull off a spectacular, full-length diving catch.
Middlesex finished in a stronger vein when
Lancashire’s seamers lost their radar for an hour or so, enabling
Ollie Rayner and Roland-Jones to counter-punch with an eighth-wicket
stand worth 102 that took the hosts to the brink of their sole batting
The introduction of Matt Parkinson’s leg-spin hardly fazed the pair as
Roland-Jones cantered to a 68-ball 50 with 10 fours. But, soon after
the England all-rounder missed a leg-stump ball from Kyle Jarvis to be
sent packing lbw by umpire Martin Saggers.
Bailey claimed a fifth scalp when Finn played across an angled
delivery, but Rayner continued to thrive in reaching his half-century
from 71 balls and with seven boundaries. He was unbeaten on 52 when
last man Murtagh, having slogged feisty 18, miscued to mid-on to give
McLaren four for 63, figures that were only bettered by Bailey with
five for 54.