Middlesex and England batsman rues top order slump at Lord’s

Sam Robson admits Middlesex’s top order failed to perform after they were rolled over for just 181 in their opening County Championship game against Nottinghamshire.

Opener Robson was joint top scorer with 35 as the Lord’s side floundered on the second day and, trailing by 218 runs, they now face a battle to save the game.

Middlesex were weakened by the absence of Dawid Malan – unable to bat after breaking his little finger while fielding the previous day – but collectively they came up short as the visitors seized control.

“They bowled well, they put the ball in good areas and when you do that, there’s certainly enough in the wicket,” said England international Robson. “We weren’t able to come up with a good enough response really.

“A couple of us got in and didn’t go on and that’s disappointing as well. In their innings Brendan Taylor stood up and went on to score a hundred and that’s probably been the difference.

“We got off to a good start but, as a top order player, you pride yourself that, when you get to 20, 30 or 40 you can go on and make a significant score.

“We needed someone to stand up, especially with Dawid out – but we fell short and it was a very disappointing day.”

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Nottinghamshire’s innings ended at 298 with the second ball of the day, when Harry Gurney was caught in the gully off Steven Finn, and Robson and Nick Gubbins (23) made a solid start with a stand of 51 in reply.

But both openers were clean bowled, as was Nick Compton for just three and, although new captain Adam Voges hit 29, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

John Simpson, with a gritty 35, offered the sternest resistance before he was caught at slip off Gurney (3-50), while spinner Samit Patel picked up 3-30 to help clean up the tail.

Steven Mullaney (44) and Taylor (34) ensured that Nottinghamshire built on their first innings advantage and they closed the day on 101-2 second time around.

Reflecting on his dismissal by Jake Ball, Robson added: “It was probably a bit of a misjudgement – it was a good ball and came back up the hill a little bit. But you move on.”