STUMPS DAY TWO: MIDDLESEX 106 & 274-5; YORKSHIRE 299
An unbeaten 86 from Nick Compton helped Middlesex frustrate champions Yorkshire’s bid for a two-day win in their LV County Championship game at Lord’s.
Yorkshire, who had secured back-to-back titles on the first day, were on course for their tenth win of the season when they reduced Middlesex to 143 for 5, still 48 runs in arrears, shortly before tea.
But the hosts found some belated resolve in the form of Compton, who passed 1,000 runs of the season, and skipper Franklin, who was undefeated on 60 at stumps with Middlesex 274 for 5, a lead of 81.
Compton, who has faced 160 balls and hit 11 fours, has now passed 50 on seven occasions this season but converted just one of them into a hundred, a record he will be anxious to improve tomorrow when the new ball will be available to Yorkshire after one over.
Until they came together Yorkshire had been in total control, with No.10 Jack Brooks making his first half-century for the county in a total of 299 before they grabbed three wickets in 12 balls with the score on 87 after Middlesex had batted again 193 runs in arrears.
Although the occasional ball stopped in the pitch, conditions for batting were excellent as Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom demonstrated during the first hour in extending their last-wicket alliance to 78. Brooks offered one chance in the first over when he sliced to gully off Toby Roland-Jones without adding to his overnight 12, but Compton shelled the chance.
Thereafter Brooks and Sidebottom made serene progress with Brooks progressing to only the third half-century of his career from 69 balls with ten fours. Tim Murtagh finally broke the stand when Sidebottom (28) was caught and bowled off a leading edge and initially Middlesex blunted Yorkshire’s seamers with few problems.
Sam Robson progressed to 53 in his 100th first-class game, reaching the milestone with a cover drive off James Middlebrook for his ninth boundary but on 87 the innings subsided.
Tim Bresnan got one to nip back through Robson’s defences then Middlebrook struck twice in three balls. Paul Stirling (34) was bowled through the gate and Dawid Malan, only half-forward, leg before to complete a pair. Steve Eskinazi joined Compton to put on 41 before Steve Patterson bowled the debutant through the gate for 22.
Neil Dexter, playing his last Middlesex innings at Lord’s, passed 6,000 first-class runs before, on 13, he was caught in his follow-through by Brooks off a leading edge as he worked to leg.
At that stage Middlesex still needed 48 to make Yorkshire bat again but they dominated the final session against a tiring attack. Compton reached 1,000 runs when he got to 49 and Franklin, normally a batsman who likes to attack the bowling, got his head down to frustrate the champions, reaching his third fifty of the season with a cover drive off Sidebottom for his ninth four.
TEA DAY TWO: MIDDLESEX 106 & 143-5; YORKSHIRE 299
Yorkshire took three Middlesex wickets in 12 balls as they pressed home their advantage on the second day of the LV County Championship match at Lord’s.
Facing a first-innings deficit of 193, Middlesex slumped to 143 for 5 at tea despite an opening stand of 87 by openers Sam Robson and Paul Stirling.
They had made serene progress to 87 for 0 with Robson reaching a 96-ball half-century when he stroked Tim Bresnan through the covers for his ninth boundary.
But in his next over Bresnan bowled Robson with a ball that nipped back for 53 before off-spinner James Middlebrook struck twice in three balls.
He beat Stirling’s defensive push and bowled him for 34 before Dawid Malan bagged a pair when Middlebrook had him leg before half-forward. Nick Compton and debutant Steve Ekinazi added 41 for the fourth wicket in 17 overs but two more wickets fell before tea.
Eskinazi was bowled through the gate by Steve Patterson for 22 and Neil Dexter’s final Middlesex innings at Lord’s ended on 13 when Jack Brooks took a low return catch off a leading edge.
LUNCH DAY 2: MIDDLESEX 106 & 50-0*; YORKSHIRE 299
Champions Yorkshire put themselves in a strong position to claim their 10th win of the season after taking a first innings lead of 193 over Middlesex at lunch on the second day at Lord’s.
Last-wicket pair Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom extended their entertaining stand to 78 before Sidebottom was caught and bowled by Tim Murtagh off a leading edge for 28.
Brooks had just reached his maiden half-century for Yorkshire, from 69 balls with ten boundaries, having been dropped off the fifth ball of the day at gully by Nick Compton off Toby Roland-Jones when he had failed to add to his overnight score of 12.
Middlesex made a positive start to their second innings as Sam Robson and Paul Stirling regularly found the gaps with Yorkshire employing attacking fields in search of early wickets. At lunch they were 50 for 0 with Robson 32 and Stirling 18.