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Middlesex v Hampshire - Day two match updates


Eoin Morgan missed the opportunity to enhance his Ashes claims with a second-ball duck as Middlesex grinded their way into a position of strength on the second day of their LV County Championship match against Hampshire at Lord’s.

England’s one-day captain is back in the frame more than three years since he won the last of his 16 Test caps after an outstanding limited overs series against New Zealand when he made scores of 113, 88, 71 and 50.

But on a pitch demanding a measure of patience and application, Morgan chased a wideish ball from Hampshire’s 18-year-old seamer Brad Wheal and was well caught low down at first slip.

It was the second of two wickets in three balls for Wheal on a profitable morning for Hampshire who had Middlesex in trouble at 113 for five in reply to their under-par score of 176.

The Lord’s crowd might have wished to have witnessed Morgan at his attacking best as Middlesex settled for often attritional accumulation after lunch.

Nick Compton glued their innings together but after he fell for 87 Middlesex went 28 deliveries without adding to their score and John Simpson’s 143-ball half-century was greeted with ironic cheers from the stands.

It wasn’t pretty, but the sixth wicket stand of 111 in 35 overs, which was followed by an alliance of 36 in 25 between Simpson and Ollie Rayner, have helped put Middlesex in a strong position on 298 for 8, a lead of 122.

A pitch with a good covering of grass, which has offered extravagant seam movement at times, is turning slowly so Middlesex will want to keep their victory target to a minimum.

Hampshire did well in the morning session to claw their way back into contention. Gareth Berg and Jackson Bird took a wicket in the first two overs of the day before Weale, generating good pace from the pavilion end, hurried Joe Burns onto the back foot and plucked out his middle stump before enjoying Morgan’s prized scalp.

Berg then went around the wicket and squared up James Franklin but as the ball lost its hardness batting became slightly easier, although a slow pitch and accurate bowling hardly encouraged lavish stroke play.

Compton has had a relatively lean time since returning to Middlesex from Somerset but he punished any width outside off stump with some powerful drives in front of square. A first century at Lord’s since his return was on the cards until he came down the pitch to hit Danny Briggs’ left-arm spin through mid-wicket, was beaten by some turn and edged low to first slip. His 87 came off 156 balls with eight fours.

Simpson laboured diligently for three hours 40 minutes over his 64, making the most of a reprieve on 45 when he was put down by Bird at mid-off off Berg. He faced 201 balls for his 64, with seven fours, before driving fatally at Bird after the Australian had taken the new ball.

Rayner’s diligence helped take the lead beyond 100 but worryingly for Hampshire Berg bowled James Harris with a pea-roller just before the close. Batting is unlikely to get any easier.


Middlesex v Hampshire - Day Two Tea

Nick Compton’s 87 and an unbeaten half-century from John Simpson helped Middlesex build a precious lead on the second day of their LV County Championship match at Lord’s.

Having taken five wickets before lunch to reduce Middlesex to 113 for 5 in response to their first innings score of 176, Hampshire would have been hopeful of making further inroads on a hot afternoon.

Instead, Compton mixed solid defence with some solid strokeplay, particularly through the off side, in three and three-quarter hours before he came down the pitch to attack left-arm spinner Danny Briggs and was well held low down at slip by Will Smith after the ball turned as he aimed through mid-wicket. Compton’s 87 included eight fours and came off 156 balls.

Compton and Simpson added 111 in 35 overs for the sixth wicket and Simpson pressed on to reach 50 from 143 balls, although he was dropped at mid off by Jackson Bird off Briggs on 45. At tea, Middlesex were 231 for 6 and in front by 55 runs.



Middlesex v Hampshire - Day Two Lunch

Hampshire fought back with five Middlesex wickets before lunch, including England one-day captain Eoin Morgan for a second-ball duck, on the second day of the LV County Championship match at Lord’s.

Responding to Hampshire’s 176, Middlesex lost wickets in the first two overs of the day before Brad Wheal took two in three balls as Middlesex reached 144 for 5 at lunch.

Gareth Berg pinned Sam Robson (17) with the third ball of the day before Jackson Bird picked up Paul Stirling (39) in the second over, half-forward and caught low down at second slip by James Vince.

Joe Burns (13) lost his middle stump to Wheal via an inside edge as he played back in the 27th over before Morgan chased width and was well taken at first slip.

Berg then went round the wicket to remove James Franklin (5), who was caught behind as he pushed forward to leave his former county on 113 for 5.

A green-tinged pitch offering seam movement demanded a patient approach and Nick Compton provided it for Middlesex with an unbeaten 42.

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