MATCH RESULT - MIDDLESEX 2ND XI WIN BY 226 RUNS
Middlesex Second XI - 369 all out & 285 for 6 dec.
Somerset Second XI - 94 all out & 334 all out
Middlesex wrapped up a comprehensive victory at Merchant Taylor's School before tea on the third and final day, in a day of two completely contrasting sessions.
Resuming this morning on 94 without loss, Somerset seemed to have put their first innings batting troubles behind them, as openers Banton and Green continued to build on an impressive start last night.
They'd taken the score to 219 before Green became the first Somerset wicket to fall, with George Scott making the breakthough as Robbie White stumped the opener on 88.
Banton and Peter Trego saw things comfortably through to the lunch interval, with the visitors going in on 234 for 1, having dominated the morning session and seemingly looking well placed to meet their objective of batting the day out to secure the draw.
If the morning session belonged to Somerset, then the afternoon session was certainly Middlesex's, as the visitors batting resistance disintegrated as feebly as it had in the first innings.
The second Somerset wicket fell with the score on 239, which started the collapse! And what a collapse it was! From 239 for 1, Somerset lost their next nine wickets for just 95 runs, as they were bowled out for 335 - some 226 runs behind their hosts.
James Fuller again prospered with the ball, picking up 3 for 61 from 14.4 overs, whilst Thilan Walallawita also claimed three, finishing with figures of 3 for 78 of 28 overs.
It was a good run out for Middlesex ahead of Friday's Second Eleven Trophy semi-final, with many of the squad involved in this game in contention to feature in the semi-final at Radlett at the end of the week.
CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY TWO
Middlesex Second XI - 369 & 285 for 6 dec
Somerset Second XI - 94 & 94 for 0
After dominating proceedings on the opening day of their three-day friendly against Somerset, Middlesex returned to Merchant Taylor’s School on day two in the field, having reduced the visitors to 40 for 5 in the late stages of yesterday, in reply to Middlesex's earlier first innings total of 369.
Resuming this morning the Middlesex attack showed no sign of letting up, as with only 4 runs added to their overnight score Tom Barber picked up the sixth Somerset wicket, clean bowling Smeed for just 2.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors just 24 runs later when George Scott found the edge of Max Waller’s willow to give Robbie White his third catch of the innings behind, leaving Somerset in deep trouble on 68 for 7.
Just seven overs later and the Somerset first innings was over - the tail wrapped up cheaply and the visitors rolled for just 96, trailing Middlesex by 273 runs at the halfway stage.
Tom Barber’s 3 for 27 and James Fuller’s 3 for 11 saw them as the pick of the Middlesex attack.
Middlesex’s second innings began in the same vain as their first, with Max Holden and Sam Robson dominating the bowlers. Holden batted watchfully, whilst Robson freely, as they put on 134 for the first wicket, before Holden fell to O’Brien for 29 - Peter Trego taking the catch.
Robson was batting masterfully, scoring 97 of that 134 opening stand, and he reached his century soon after, with new partner George Scott with him as his milestone came up.
Robson and Scott had added 34 when the opener fell for a quite brilliant 127, scored off just 117 balls – batting himself into great form ahead of next week’s return to County Championship action.
Robbie White joined Scott in the middle, and, like so many times already this season, began to build a formidable partnership.
White then became the third wicket to fall, with the score on 240, having put on 74 with Scott, who was batting well and rapidly approaching his half century.
Scott brought up his fifty just four overs later, with Rayner for company, although their partnership came to an end soon after, as the big off-spinner fell to Shaw for 8 – Middlesex 262 for 4.
The departures of Scott, for 56, and Tom Lace, for 4, prompted Robson to declare, with the score on 285 for 6, setting Somerset a target of 561 for victory.
The visitors faced a tricky spell, with fifteen twilight overs remaining in the day, although openers Tom Banton and Ben Green set about the task at hand with a positive approach.
Rather than bat with survival in mind, Banton took the attack to the Middlesex bowlers, reaching a well earned half century before stumps were drawn.
Banton (55*) and Green (28*), who had batted more watchfully,
will resume tomorrow morning on the third and final day, with Somerset on 94 without
loss, trailing Middlesex by 466 runs.
CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY ONE
Middlesex Second XI 1st inns - 369 all out
Somerset Second XI 1st inns - 40 for 5
Day one of Middlesex’s Second XI friendly against Somerset Second XI came to an end with the home side in a strong position at Merchant Taylors’ School.
Winning the toss, Middlesex captain Sam Robson elected to bat first, and he and Max Holden opened the innings against a strong Somerset attack.
Holden, fresh from hitting a magnificent 71 against the touring Australians at Lord’s on Saturday, lasted only ten balls this morning before falling to Jamie Overton, out for 4.
Robson and George Scott then added 46 for the second wicket, before Scott fell to Green for a well worked 37.
Robson then added 51 for the third wicket with new partner Robbie White, before the opener was undone by O’Brien, falling 8 short of his half-century, out for 42.
At 103 for 3 the decision to bat first was looking like being the right call, although when Ollie Rayner and Tom Lace both fell in quick succession for 2 and 0 respectively, Somerset had wrestled the initiative back at the lunch interval.
White and James Fuller had the job of rebuilding the Middlesex innings, and they did so with aplomb, putting on 174 for the sixth wicket in quick time, before White fell for a battling 84, trapped in front by Max Waller.
Fuller continued to bat aggressively, really taking the attack to the Somerset bowlers, and he reached a magnificent century off just 65 balls to put his side back in the ascendancy.
At tea Fuller had reached 130 and was still going - his knock coming off just 99 balls, putting Middlesex in control on 344 for 7, Walallawita the other wicket to fall, for 19.
The tail was wrapped up pretty quickly in the evening session by the Somerset attack, as three quick wickets fell - Murtagh for 18, Bamber for a duck and Barber for 4.
Fuller was left stranded, having run out of partners, finishing on 147 not out, scored off 121 balls. The Middlesex innings coming to an end on 369. O’Brien was the pick of the visitors’ bowlers, finishing with figures of 5 for 43.
With 21 overs of the day remaining the Middlesex bowlers wasted no time in ripping straight into the Somerset batting line-up.
Barber struck twice, and Murtagh, Bamber and Fuller each picked up one apiece, as Somerset finished the day in deep trouble on 40 for 5, trailing Middlesex by 329 runs.
Play will resume at 11am tomorrow on day two.