Honours even says Middlesex’s Simpson

Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson

Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson - Credit: Archant

Wicketkeeper reflects on first day at Warwickshire

Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson felt the first day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Warwickshire had ended ‘about even’.

A depleted bowling attack had some success throughout the day, including the vital wicket of in-form Rikki Clarke in the final over, as the hosts closed on 302-7.

Ryan Higgins and James Harris took two wickets apiece and Simpson said: “The day probably ended about honours even. We bowled pretty well for two sessions then let it slip a little bit towards the end of the day but it was very handy to get the wicket of Rikki Clarke in the last over.

“The wicket had a little bit in it to start with and the ball swung for the first couple of sessions. We bowled well without getting our full rewards but that’s the game for you. We had a couple of openings but sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition and Clarke and (Keith) Barker hung around and did a good job for their team.

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“The pitch flattened out and the longer the guys spent out there the easier it became. It’s quite an easy-paced wicket and with a slightly short boundary on one side you can look to target that.”

Warwickshire batsman Matt Lamb made 51 from 125 balls after being called into the side and added: “I would have taken that before the start of play. Obviously I was disappointed not to go on and get to three figures but nevertheless, after my debut down at Taunton last year, it was nice to contribute to the team.

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“It wasn’t easy out there. There was a little bit in it for the bowlers all day but I took my time and just said to myself I want to face as many balls as I can and get used to the experience of playing first-team cricket.

“After that debut game at Taunton I just wanted to prove to myself that I can do it at this level and bat some time. I think I was on three after 45 balls and am a shot-maker, but I just thought if I could grind it out I could make it up at the back end when I got myself in.

“It’s been a good day for the team. It was a shame that Clarkey got out right at the end after a serious knock but hopefully the lower order can kick on and get us over 400.“

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