Thursday, 4th May 2006

Strauss hundred gives Middlesex hope

FIXTURE

Vs: Hampshire

Match: LVCC 1

Venue: The Rose Bowl

Day 2

Middlesex had a much better day at The Rose Bowl but still need a further 124 runs to avoid an innings defeat with seven wickets intact. Andrew Strauss made a magnificent hundred for Middlesex in preparation for next week’s Test Match against Sri Lanka, and is 117 not out.

In the morning, the Middlesex bowlers gave a much improved performance to bowl the strong Hampshire batting line up out for the addition of 164 runs. Johann Louw made the initial breakthrough in the sixth over of the morning when he bowled Thornely for 65.

Pothas was joined at the wicket by Mascarenhas, and they were made to work hard for runs by the Middlesex seam attack and when the new ball was taken immediately it became available, Hampshire had reached 342-5.

With the fourth delivery of the new ball, Louw bowled Mascarenhas for 38 which brought Shane Warne to the wicket. He saw Pothas reach his hundred (off 177 balls, 12 fours) and struck 22 off 25 balls faced when he was caught at second slip to give Louw his fifth wicket of the innings.

Chris Silverwood then had Pothas caught at slip without adding to his score, and at lunch Hampshire were eight wickets down for 352. Udal struck a rapid 28 off 22 deliveries before he holed out off Silverwood. Bruce struck out taking eleven runs off the remainder of Silverwood’s over before last man Taylor was bowled first ball by Mohammad Ali.

Johann Louw got into his rhythm to finish with figures of 5-117 off 29 overs, with Silverwood taking 2-86 off 20 overs, Betts 2-59 from 17 overs and Mohammad Ali was unlucky to only take the last wicket to finish with 1-70 off 18.4 overs.

Facing a deficit of 328 on first innings and with two and a half days left for play, Middlesex needed a good start. Andrew Strauss and Ben Hutton gave them one with an opening partnership of 79 runs before Hutton went down the track to Udal and missed to be bowled for 20.

Warne brought himself on for two overs just before tea, but Strauss and Smith survived as Middlesex went into tea on 88-1 after 29 overs (Strauss 55 not out). Strauss continued with some beautifully timed cover drives and pulls through the on side, but he lost Smith who was bamboozled by a Warne delivery and was bowled for 22.

Strauss reached his hundred with a pull to the mid-wicket boundary off Warne – his 16th boundary - scored off 148 balls. Dalrymple looked in touch after his first innings duck, striking Ervine for three boundaries in an over before the bowler had his revenge when Dalrymple was caught down the leg side by the keeper.

Compton joined Strauss and they saw Middlesex through to close of play without further loss, finishing at 204-3 after 61 overs.

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