Middlesex pass 300 on day one
Somerset’s bowlers were left frustrated on day one of this LV= Insurance County Championship match against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Nick Gubbins and Robbie White led a solid Middlesex batting display, but it was a day that could have been very different.
Before the match started there was a special moment for Lewis Goldsworthy who was named in the starting XI in First Class cricket for the first time.
Somerset Captain, Tom Abell won the toss and elected to field, but by the close of play the visitors had progressed to 308 for six.
Gubbins made 75, White was 70 not out and Max Holden contributed 49.
Craig Overton was the pick of the Somerset attack but did not get the luck that his performance deserved as he finished with figures of two for 54 from 23 overs.
On a sunny morning, Lewis Gregory struck the first blow when Sam Robson, on six, played across a full delivery and edged a sharp catch to wicketkeeper Steve Davies who took the chance brilliantly.
From then on, Middlesex made the most of some good fortune, particularly for Holden.
On 24, he was caught off a Gregory no-ball and on 28 he edged the same bowler low to second slip, the ball flying through Craig Overton’s legs for four.
Holden survived narrowly again on 33 when he got a thin top edge to an attempted pull shot off Overton and the leaping Davies could only get the finger ends of his gloves to the ball.
When Overton tried to bounce him out, Holden responded with two fine pulls for boundaries. But the bowler took revenge with the final delivery before the interval, which yielded an outside edge and another Davies catch.
It was 82 for two at lunch and after the break Gubbins and Peter Handscomb were looking to push on.
However, Handscomb (17) steered a ball from Jack Leach, who is making his 100th First Class appearance in this match, to mid-on and set off for a single, only to be beaten by substitute fielder Roelof van der Merwe’s direct hit at the bowler’s end.
Gubbins had been dropped on 41 by Overton at second slip off Josh Davey and it looked like proving a costly error as the left-hander moved to an otherwise assured half-century. He had faced 138 balls and struck 12 fours when Overton pouched him to give Gregory a second wicket.
At 170 for four, Middlesex had to rebuild. White and John Simpson did so sensibly to add 38 before the tea interval.
Simpson had contributed 33 to a stand of 69 with White when he edged a back-foot shot off the left-arm seam of Tom Lammonby to James Hildreth at first slip.
White went to fifty with a flashing cut for four off Lammonby, his eighth boundary, having faced 114 balls.
Martin Andersson weighed in with a brisk 38 from 35 balls and, with White still unbeaten, Middlesex could feel satisfied with their day’s work whilst Somerset were left thinking about what might have been.
At the close of play, Lewis Gregory said: “It was a frustrating day in some ways. We weren’t quite at our best with the ball, but we went past the outside edge a lot and didn’t have much luck.
“There’s a bit in the pitch, but we have a long batting line up and if we can wrap up their innings quickly tomorrow, the opportunity will be there to make a decent score.
“Pitches here tend to get better for batting as matches go on, unless they take spin, so we must look to register a first innings total that applies some pressure.”
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