Middlesex ‘need to build momentum’

PUBLISHED: 08:16 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:16 06 June 2017

A view of Lord's Cricket Ground from the media centre (pic Layth Yousif)

A view of Lord's Cricket Ground from the media centre (pic Layth Yousif)


Captain Franklin reflects on another draw

Though his team remains undefeated, Middlesex skipper James Franklin said they have yet to find top form in the Specsavers County Championship.

The defending champions settled on a rain-affected draw with Somerset at Lord’s on Monday, with the visitors 161-3 and ahead by 246 runs, after captain Tom Abell hit an unbeaten 71.

And Franklin said: “We’re four games in and still haven’t got a win. We’ve performed well in a couple of games and in the others we haven’t been at out best.

“That said, we’ve shown good resilience throughout and have earned a good reputation around the country for that. We’ve got a lot of cricket ahead of us and I’d like to think the first win isn’t too far away and we can then build some momentum through June.”

Batting again by 12.40pm and having secured a first-innings lead of 85, Somerset lost veteran opening bat Marcus Trescothick with only a single on the board.

The former England left-hander ducked into a well-directed bouncer from Toby Roland-Jones to glove a looping catch to wicketkeeper John Simpson and exit without scoring.

After lunch Dean Elgar, fresh from his first innings 158 that moved him beyond the 10,000-run milestone for his first-class career, had just posted his 500th run of the championship summer only to fall for 33.

Hanging his bat out to dry against Tom Helm, the left-hander edged into the cordon to be snaffled by Ollie Rayner at second slip.

Conversely, Somerset skipper Abell, who went into the game with less than 100 runs to his name from his first four championship starts, set out to bat time in a bid to reverse his run of poor form.

The Taunton-born right-hander featured in a stand of 42 with James Hildreth that ended when Hildreth departed to the third ball of the match from Middlesex off-spinner Paul Stirling. Making room and shaping to cut, Hildreth toe ended to the keeper and went for 23.

Abell marched on, moving past his modest season’s best of 40 just before tea to reach his 10th first-class 50 from 111 balls and with six fours.

The clouds converged soon after tea forcing a short break for bad light, after which Simpson, the Middlesex wicketkeeper, removed his pads, tossed the gloves to Stevie Eskinazi and sent down his maiden over in first-class cricket.

Simpson, Nick Compton and Nick Gubbins then took turns in serving up a series of long-hops and full-tosses to end the match on a somewhat farcical note.

Middlesex had batted on for another 14 overs at the start of the final day in adding 47 to their overnight, first-innings total.

Somerset made their first breakthrough after an hour to break an eighth-wicket stand between Helm and Franklin that added 62 inside 21.2 overs. Playing back in defence to Lewis Gregory’s first ball of the day from the Pavilion End, Helm lost his off stump to a shooting off-cutter to depart for a career-best 28.

Last man Tom Murtagh then sliced a drive off Gregory straight to cover point to leave Franklin marooned on 49 not out and end the innings.

Adam Voges’ retirement on Sunday with a calf injury ensured he played no further part in the home reply although his unbeaten 86 had eventually helped take his side to within 85 of the Somerset first innings.

The day started memorably for Middlesex opening batsman Nick Gubbins who received his commemorative, embroidered Middlesex county cap from India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar during a presentation in front of the pavilion.

On an otherwise sombre Monday at Lord’s, however, the county flags flew at half-mast as a mark of respect to the victims of Saturday night’s London Bridge terror attack.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Fri, 18:00

Arsenal have encouraged supporters to follow advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after they were drawn to play CSKA Moscow in the Europa League.

Fri, 12:11

The Europa League draw took place on Friday lunchtime. Find out who Arsenal have been drawn against.

Fri, 10:37

It has been the talking point of the week – did Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck dive to win a penalty against AC Milan at a crucial point in the match? While the answer most certainly had to be a resounding ‘yes’ Rossoneri boss Rino Gattuso was phlegmatic in his reaction.

Fri, 10:11

Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-1 on Thursday evening at the Emirates to seal their place in the last eight of the Europa League following a 5-1 victory on aggregate. Read on for more on who they will face in Friday’s draw.

Fri, 10:00

Islington-born Karim Kerbouche is fulfilling a dream of bringing ice hockey to his native Algeria as he is set to jet off to play in the first-ever Arab Cup in Abu Dhabi, writes Jacob Ranson.

Fri, 07:30

Do you know an inspiring sports teacher with a passion for ensuring young girls have equal access and opportunities to play sport? TeamUp, an initiative designed to engage schools and help teachers deliver team sports to girls, is launching a campaign to search for London’s Sports Teacher of the Year and nominations are now open.

Archant London sat down with tipster Martin Girdwood of Girdys Gee Gees to go through his naps for the final day of the Festival

To use a famous quote it was dejavu all over again as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said he didn’t see the penalty decision which was the crucial turning point in the match as Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-1 and 5-1 on aggregate to progress to the last eight of the Europa League.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now