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Worcestershire v Middlesex: Match Updates Day 1

over 8 years ago|Uncategorised


Locum fast bowler Shannon Gabriel launched Worcestershire’s farewell to Division One in the LV= County Championship by upsetting Middlesex’s match towards the runners-up spot in the final match of the season at New Road.

West Indian Gabriel, in the second of two matches for the already relegated home team, took five for 31 – his third five-wicket return in first-class cricket - and, despite an unbeaten 27 by John Simpson, the visitors folded for 98 in 34.1 overs.

Gabriel took two for 10 in his opening spell as Middlesex struggled after losing the toss on a rain-shortened opening day and he came back to dismiss three lower-order batsmen when let loose for four overs after tea.

Perhaps unsettled by Gabriel’s pace when the match got under way after lunch, Middlesex had six batsmen dismissed for duck. Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell added to that collection when caught at second slip off Toby Roland-Jones, but Brett D’Oliveira (38 not out) and Tom Fell (37 not out) reduced the gap to only 19 in closing at 79 for one.

At the start of play Middlesex held a 12-point lead over Nottinghamshire in the push for second place prize money of £169,000 to the players. Even allowing for tricky conditions, with some movement after morning rain, this must rank among their least convincing performances with the bat.

Gabriel, who was brought in when Saeed Ajmal completed his contract earlier in the month, gave Worcestershire a new dimension. Not many bowlers in the championship have his ability to hurry and unsettle batsmen.

Gabriel was in his fourth over – and new-ball partner Joe Leach had already profited from Paul Stirling’s jab to point – when he struck with his fifth and sixth deliveries. Sam Robson, having battled for 17 of the 31 on the board, was well held by Tom Fell at third slip and Dawid Malan’s unhappy run extended to a third successive duck when he was late on a ball which took out the middle stump.

For a while Nick Compton was able to use his top-level know-how in dealing with the moving ball, but even with Gabriel out of the attack, Worcestershire still had a cutting edge. Jack Shantry returned remarkable figures of 8-5-5-2.

The left-arm seamer spoiled Neil Dexter’s last appearance for Middlesex when Daryl Mitchell picked up a neat catch at second slip and he had another wicket with Ben Cox’s left-handed catch to dismiss James Franklin.

Compton’s resistance took him to 19 out of 51 before Cox held another chance, this time off Leach, leaving Middlesex deep in trouble on 64 for six at tea.

Gabriel went for the kill in his second spell, and in the space of four overs, he quickly removed Ollie Rayner, leg-before to the first ball after the break and James Harris, another victim for Cox.

His fifth wicket was a bonus when Roland-Jones hoisted a short delivery to long leg and the innings closed with Tim Murtagh caught by Cox off Ed Barnard.  



Shannon Gabriel marked his home debut for Worcestershire with wickets in successive balls as Middlesex slumped to 64 for six by tea after losing the toss on a rain-affected first day in the LV= County Championship at New Road.

Two hours were lost before Joe Leach made the initial breakthrough when Paul Stirling stabbed a chance at Brett D’Oliveira at point. Sam Robson got as far as the eighth overs, making 17, before he was well caught by Tom Fell at third slip for Gabriel’s first wicket and the West Indian’s next delivery knocked out the middle stump for Dawid Malan’s third consecutive duck.

When Gabriel ended his spell with two for 10, replacement Jack Shantry quickly accounted for Neil Dexter and James Franklin, both without scoring, and when Leach returned to the attack, Nick Compton was caught behind for 19.



Middlesex’s bid to confirm the Division One runners-up spot in LV= County Championship was on hold with no play possible on the first morning in their final fixture against already relegated Worcestershire at New Road.

Early morning rain put the starting time back by an hour, and with the visitors due to bat after losing the toss, another downpour caused a further delay.

Lunch was taken as scheduled at 12.30pm and umpires Ian Gould and Tim Robinson planned an inspection at 1.10pm.

Needing 12 points to be sure of their highest placing since 1995, Middlesex welcomed back Ollie Rayner after a groin injury and Worcestershire were unchanged from last week’s defeat by Durham. This meant a home debut for West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.

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