Thursday, 17th August 2006

Shah inspires Middlesex on rain shortened day

FIXTURE

Vs: Lancashire

Match: LVCC 1

Venue: Old Trafford

Day 1

Only 59.4 overs play was possible on the first day of the Liverpool Victoria County Championship at Old Trafford, where Middlesex having won the toss, were 148-3 before heavy rain caused play to be abandoned for the day at 4.30pm.

Middlesex were without Jamie Dalrymple due to a hamstring injury and also lost leading wicket taker Chris Silverwood before the start of play; with the pitch expected to take spin, Chris Peploe replaced Silverwood with Paul Weekes retaining his place. David Nash replaced Ben Scott as wicket keeper.

The Middlesex openers, Smith and Compton, struggled to score runs on a slow wicket, managing only nine runs off the first nine overs from Cork and Hogg. Smith struck Hogg for the first boundary of the innings but was trapped LBW by the same bowler two balls later having made ten. Shah and Compton continued watchfully against the change bowlers, Smith and Chapple with the Middlesex total reaching only 17 after 17 overs. Compton doubled his score with a three in the eighteenth over but at lunch after 35 overs, the Middlesex total had advanced to 60-1 (Compton 20 not out, Shah 27 not out).

Comptonís long vigil ended in the third over after lunch when he was out LBW padding up to a delivery from Hogg for 21 (off 131 balls with a single boundary). Ed Joyce and Owais Shah took 21 runs off successive overs from Smith and Hogg and it was only in the 45th over that the hundred came up and Shah reached his fifty off 87 balls (1 six and 5 fours).

Dominic Cork bowled thirteen overs for 13 runs, but persisted in bowling too short; Keedy did get some turn with his slow left arm spin. Joyce had appeared in no trouble accumulating 32 runs off 67 deliveries before he pulled a ball from Glen Chapple straight to Ian Sutcliffe at mid-wicket. Styris joined Shah at the wicket in deteriorating light but Shah took three boundaries off a Keedy over.

Middlesex had advanced to 148-3 when the umpires brought the players off the field for bad light (Owais Shah 73 not out, Scott Styris 8 not out). An early tea was taken before heavy rain set in causing play to be abandoned for the day. The weather forecast for Friday is for more heavy rain in the Manchester area.

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