Thursday, 25th May 2006

Keegan wickets cap fine Middlesex day


Vs: Warwickshire

Match: LVCC 2

Venue: Lord's

Day 2

Middlesex enjoyed a full days play at Lords, declaring their first innings closed at 520-9, and then reducing Warwickshire to 98-3 – still requiring a further 273 runs to avoid the follow-on. However, the weather forecast is poor for tomorrow and Middlesex will have to perform exceptionally well to force a first championship win of the season.

Ed Smith (120) and Jamie Dalrymple (14) resumed the Middlesex innings in the morning on 255-3 and added a further 96 runs for the fourth wicket before being parted. Daniel Vettori continued from the Pavilion End with the seam bowlers operating from the Nursery End.

Smith was not as fluent as the previous day, but still reached 150 out of a total of 324 with his 19th boundary (off 246 balls). Dalrymple, who had earlier struck Vettori for six over long off, reached his fifty in the following over (88 balls, 1 six & 4 fours).

Middlesex claimed a fourth batting point before Dougie Brown, who had relieved Vettori from the Pavilion End, ended Smith’s highest innings since joining the county from Kent, trapping him LBW for 166 (off 274 balls, 21 fours).

Scott Styris, playing his first innings for the county since finishing duty with New Zealand, was caught at slip off Heath Streak for 13 and Middlesex went into lunch at 374-5 (Dalrymple 66, Compton 4).

Dalrymple had added only a further three runs to his lunchtime total before he became another leg before victim for 69 (126 balls). Ben Scott joined Compton at the wicket and played extremely well with some five cover driven boundaries. The partnership had realised 73 runs when Scott was caught at slip having made 39 runs.

Nick Compton was trapped LBW for 40 in Ian Bell’s following over to reduce Middlesex to 456-8, but Chad Keegan and Johann Louw saw Middlesex to 483-8 at tea. After tea, Keegan took twelve runs off three deliveries from Bell, and Louw did the same off the first three balls in the following over bowled by Loudon.

Louw was caught at the wicket off a short delivery from Carter having made 28, at which point Hutton declared the Middlesex innings closed at 520-9 after 139.3 overs. Chad Keegan was unbeaten on 34 runs (off only 26 balls).

Twenty five overs play remained when Warwickshire commenced their reply, and Chad Keegan continued his fairy-tale return to Middlesex colours, picking up three wickets in six overs.

Nick Knight was first to go, caught down the leg side by Ben Scott for 14, and he dismissed fellow Warwickshire opener Wagh with a bail trimmer for 16 having had him dropped by Jamie Dalrymple in the gully. Keegan then trapped Ian Bell LBW for 14 to reduce the visitors to 51-3.

Trott and Loudon safely negotiated the remaining 15 overs as Warwickshire ended the day’s play on 98-3. Keegan had taken 3-27 off six overs.

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