Thursday, 7th September 2006

Middlesex facing heavy defeat at Lord's


Vs: Nottinghamshire

Match: LVCC 1

Venue: Lord's

Day 2

On the usual flat pitch at Lord’s, Middlesex knew they were in trouble at the start of the second day’s play with a depleted bowling attack and faced with former Middlesex captain Stephen Flemimg at the wicket, a known compiler of big hundreds, at the wicket.

The Middlesex seam attack of Silverwood and Louw opened the bowling in the morning but without success and it was not long before Middlesex skipper Ben Hutton switched to the spin of Peploe and Weekes.

Middlesex bowled an incredible, by modern standards, number of 42 overs in the morning session but without dislodging Smith or Fleming. The visitors went into lunch at 263-2, with Fleming reaching his hundred in the last over before lunch with Smith already on 126 not out.

Fleming overtook Smith after lunch reaching his 150 off 232 balls, and with their partnership having realised 288 runs for the second wicket, Middlesex broke through in the only way that seemed likely, when Will Smith was beaten by Chris Wright’s throw to the bowlers end stumps to be dismissed for 141.

Hussey was bowled by Johann Louw for 19, but Fleming was still there at tea having made 181 not out of the Nottinghamshire total of 410-4. Chris Wright had Fleming caught on the deep square leg boundary in his second over after tea for 192 (off 295 balls, 4 sixes & 22 fours) and he also trapped Mark Ealham LBW for fifteen.

Middlesex slowed the over rate down in an effort to try to keep the visitors scoring rate down, but Samit Patel took the tiring attack to the cleaners hitting Chris Peploe for four sixes in reaching a century in only 117 balls (4 sixes & 11 fours). Owais Shah’s occasional spin bowling was tried from the Nursery End but Patel took 26 runs off his solitary over with a further three sixes included.

Patel reached his 150 in the penultimate over of the day (off 134 balls, 8 sixes & 14 fours) as the visitors closed the day on a mammoth 601-6 – a lead of 371 runs with four first innings wickets intact. Middlesex conceded a total of 191 runs in the final session off just 29 overs; the outlook is decidedly bleak.

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