Wednesday, 30th August 2006

Weekes rescues Middlesex after poor start


Vs: Yorkshire

Match: LVCC 1

Venue: Scarborough

Day 1

Put into bat on the first day of the Scarborough Festival by Yorkshire, Middlesex made a good recovery from the depths of 39-3 finishing at close of play on 354-9 with the veteran Paul Weekes scoring a marvellous hundred at number six in the order.

Ben Hutton, making his first appearance since his attack of shingles, led the side with Ed Smith dropping down the order to number four. A good crowd of just under 4,000 were present on the opening day.

Yorkshire had Matthew Hoggard back in their team from England duty, but it was Gideon Kruis who caused Middlesex the most trouble with some fine swing bowling. He got one past Nick Compton’s defence in the fourth over of the day and followed up by trapping Owais Shah LBW for a duck in his next over.

Hutton and Smith took the score to 39 before Kruis took his third wicket of the morning, having Hutton caught at the wicket for 11. Kruis finished his first spell of eight overs with figures of 3-10 with Hoggard wicket less having conceded 32 runs off nine overs.

Scott Styris and Ed Smith saw Middlesex through to lunch without further loss on 111 with Smith reaching his fifty off 88 balls (9 fours) in the final over. Kruis returned to the attack immediately after lunch and another fine delivery had Smith caught behind for 56.

Styris was joined by Paul Weekes and they added 71 runs for the fifth wicket before Styris was caught at slip having made a very responsible 64 (off 131 balls, 9 fours). Yorkshire brought Rashid, their young leg spinner back into the attack and he caused some problems for Weekes and Nash, but they survived to tea with the visitors 226-5.

Weekes reached his fifty with a single off the first ball after tea (off 109 balls, 6 fours) but he lost Nash in the third over after the resumption when Kruis took his fifth wicket of the innings when he bowled Nash for 19. Chris Peploe fell to a catch at slip off Rashid for five, but Chad Keegan gave good support to Weekes.

Weekes was missed by Shahzad off Rashid’s bowling when he had made 78, but with Keegan took Middlesex to their third batting point before the latter was caught at the wicket off Lawson for 25. Weekes reached his twentieth first class hundred in Lawson’s following over (off 173 balls, 12 fours) and with Johann Louw added 47 runs for the ninth wicket before Louw was caught at slip off Hoggard for 16.

This brought in last man Chris Silverwood to face his former County and he took great pride in driving his first delivery faced through mid-on for four. The pair were together at the close of play on 354-9 after 105 overs. Paul Weekes was 124 not out (off 198 balls, 1 six & 15 fours); Kruis had figures of 5-60 off 25 overs.

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