Cricket: Malan helps Middlesex make up time
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Captain Dawid Malan extended his overnight score to 124 as Middlesex attempted to make up for lost time on a rain shortened third day in the Specsavers County Championship clash with Worcestershire at Blackfinch New Road.
Steady rain, drizzle and latterly bad light meant only 21 overs were possible with play not getting underway until 4.45pm.
But Malan and his team-mates had sufficient time to add 92 runs for the loss of four wickets as they stepped up the pace in the bid to clinch their first Championship win of the season.
Middlesex extended their overall lead to 352 as they closed on 287-6.
They resumed on 195-2 with Malan unbeaten on 107 and Nick Gubbins 82.
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Malan signalled his aggressive intentions by cover-driving the first ball of the day from Charlie Morris for four.
Gubbins pulled the same bowler for six with the ball hitting the tiled roof of the ladies pavilion and rolling into the guttering.
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A late cut for four by Gubbins off Morris brought up the double century stand with Malan in 51 overs.
But Morris had his revenge in the same over when Gubbins on 91 drove into the hands of Riki Wessels at backward point.
His 167 ball knock contained one six and 12 fours.
New batsman Steve Eskinazi (1) departed in the next over when he inside-edged a Josh Tongue delivery through to keeper Ben Cox.
Morris collected a second scalp - his 25th of the campaign - when James Harris (10) when for a cut and provided Cox with another catch at 241-5.
Malan moved onto 124 before his fine knock was brought to an end by Ed Barnard in his first over of the day.
The left-hander aimed to hit Barnard over the top but only picked out Ross Whiteley who held onto a sharp catch at cover.
Malan faced 173 balls and struck 17 boundaries.
John Simpson straight drove Worcestershire captain Joe Leach for six as he and Toby Roland-Jones added a further 36 runs before bad light ended play three overs early.
Malan said: "I really enjoyed that. The wicket became fantastic to bat on yesterday.
"Whether that was their boys being a little bit tired or the heavy roller we used, it felt like a really nice wicket.
"It actually did a little bit more today and misbehaved a little bit, was a little bit up and down, which was good signs for us.
"It was disappointing to get injured (on England duty) especially the way I did it at the time. It was a fantastic opportunity for me when I got given another chance by England to have staked my claim.
"That was unfortunate but all I can do now is score runs for Middlesex and I'm just happy at the moment that I'm making the most of the form I'm in.
"This is only my sixth innings of the season and the challenge for me is to do it as long as I can and cash in while I'm playing well."