Lancashire dominate last session after bright opening from Middlesex. 12th April 2019


                     Middlesex  236-9    vs        Lancashire

              Specsavers County Championship Division Two

                     Day One  Thursday 11th April 2019

                            Peter Moore at Lords

The honours on the opening day fell to the visitors who by the close of play had reduced Middlesex to 236-9, despite the hosts at once stage being 125-1.  It was also an historic day also for England’s Jimmy Anderson who took his first county championship wickets at Lords for 16 years.

Lancashire came to North West London to commence their county championship campaign as favourites to get promoted back to the top flight of county cricket. Middlesex, were looking to open their winning account in the championship after battling away for a draw against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road last week.

After an uncontested toss, Middlesex batted first on a cold April day with hazy sun. Lancashire opened up with Jimmy Anderson and ex England quick Graham Onions, and it was the current England fast bowler Anderson who struck first having Sam Robson(3) caught in the slips. In testing early morning conditions with batsman playing and missing on regular occurrences, Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi put on an  un broken stand of 70 before lunch for the second wicket.Gubbins,at one stage delightfully cover driving Anderson- who went around the wicket- and also despatching a glorious extra cover drive off Onions to the boundary to bring up the 50 partnership- at lunch had moved on to 43, with Eskinazi- who was given a life when he made 32 when he was put down by Maxwell at 2nd slip off Onions- 38 not out , with Middlesex lunching on 84 for 1.

As the sun broke through after lunch, Gubbins move to his half century with a back-foot punch off Glenn Maxwell to record his eighth boundary in 104 balls. Shortly afterwards it was Eskinazi receiving the applause of the crowd after reaching his half century off 105 balls with seven fours.  With Maxwell and Josh Bohannon bowling in tandem the partnership bought up the century stand in the middle of the afternoon session.

With 112 added for the second wicket it was down to Tom Bailey who broke the big stand after having Gubbins trapped lbw for 55.  Lancashire thought they had managed to get Eskinazi out on 71 when a confident appeal from Onions, along with virtually the whole side for a caught behind down the leg side was turned down by umpire Michael Burns. Eskinazi’s reprieve didn’t last long as shortly afterwards he was given out caught behind of Bailey for 75 to leave Middlesex 151 for 3. With Captain Dawid Malan- fresh from a match saving century at Northampton- and Max Holden at the crease, the pair took the score to 175 for 3 at tea.

Shortly after Tea Anderson returned and had Malan(24) edging to first slip, before Eoin Morgan(8) was tempted by a short and wide delivery from Josh Bohannon which he steered straight to gully. Maxwell- who had bowled a long stint in the afternoon session- in his 19th over eventually got his just rewards when he bowled John Simpson(2).

Max Holden’s patient innings of 34 was ended by Anderson as Middlesex had slipped from a promising position of 125 for1 to 206 for 7, losing six wickets for 81 runs. Bailey then picked up his third scalp of the day by having Harris(3) caught behind. With the final over of the day being bowled by Bailey, the Lancastrian completed a fine day by having Finn(4) caught in the slips as Middlesex closed on 236 for 9, having lost six wickets for 61 in the final session dominated by the visitors with the impressive Bailey finishing the day with 4 for 51.

Stevie Eskinazi
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