Wednesday, 24th May 2006

Smith & Shah shine in good day for Middlesex

FIXTURE

Vs: Warwickshire

Match: LVCC 2

Venue: Lord's

Day 1

After early morning rain delayed the start by twenty minutes, Warwickshire captain Heath Streak won the toss and invited Middlesex to bat first.

Ed Smith got Middlesex off to a flying start with six boundaries in the first ten overs as they scored at five runs an over. The introduction of veteran Dougie Brown to the attack slowed the scoring rate and when a shower of rain intervened, Middlesex had reached 55-0 after 16.3 overs. Umpire Graham Burgess had reported to Lordís with a case of severe lower back pain and a replacement, Rob Bailey, was summoned and he took over from Burgess at this point.

Play resumed after just under half an hourís break but the Middlesex openers, Smith and Hutton saw the home side safely to lunch without loss on 70-0 after 22 overs. Rain during the lunch interval loped a further 35 minutes off the playing time and when play resumed it was obvious that a further delay would be imminent.

Only one over had been bowled before the light deteriorated, but the umpires allowed play to continue and sadly Ben Hutton was caught two balls later (having made 24), out to a blinding catch at second slip by Nick Knight. At this point the umpires brought the players off the field for bad light and rain.

After a break of a further 53 minutes, Owais Shah joined Ed Smith at the wicket and soon afterwards, Smith reached his fifty (off 78 balls, 8 fours). Shah took ten runs off a Heath Streak over as Middlesex reached tea on 113-1 after 36 overs.

Shah drove New Zealand slow left arm bowler Daniel Vettori for a straight six into the upper tier of the Compton Stand in the third over after tea, and followed up with two boundaries in the next over bowled by Carter. Ed Smith was not to be outdone, driving Brown for three boundaries in four balls as Middlesex rattled along at four runs an over.

Owais Shah reached his fifty off 66 balls (1 six and 7 fours) and the batsmen looked in little difficulty in poor light as the total advanced through the 200 mark in the 51st over. Shah had reached 73 at which point he was disappointed to be trapped LBW by Streak (off 94 balls, 1 six & 10 fours).

Ed Smith completed his first championship hundred of the season with his 15th boundary (off 150 balls) but he lost Ed Joyce for nine when the latter was caught off the back of his bat, also off Heath Streak.

Jamie Dalrymple and Ed Smith saw Middlesex reach 255-3 after 62.5 overs before bad light and rain forced the umpires to call a halt to the dayís play. A total of 41.1 overs play was lost during the day; Ed Smith was 120 not out at the close (off 180 balls, 18 fours) and Dalrymple 14 not out.

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