Cricket: Middlesex’s Robson enjoys Radlett rewards

Middlesex's Sam Robson (pic: John Walton/PA)

Middlesex's Sam Robson (pic: John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Middlesex opener Sam Robson demonstrated his penchant for batting at Radlett again as he hit his highest first-class score of the season against Glamorgan on Sunday.

Robson - whose only century of the campaign came at the same venue, against Somerset in the Royal London One-Day Cup - is closing in on a second ton, having compiled an unbeaten 85 on a truncated first day of County Championship cricket at the Cobden Hill ground.

As well as playing at Radlett, the 29-year-old clearly enjoys taking on the Glamorgan attack - he notched 79 against them in white-ball cricket earlier in the season - and his latest effort enabled Middlesex to post 151-3 from 51 overs after being put in to bat.

Rain in the morning postponed the arrival of first-class cricket at Radlett until 3pm, but it was little surprise that Glamorgan declined the toss of a coin and set about getting their bowlers warmed up.

The recalled Marchant de Lange found some movement during a tidy opening spell, getting Stevie Eskinazi to push forward and miss on more than one occasion as the opener struggled to get off the mark.

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There were a few anxious moments for Eskinazi, who survived two lbw shouts by de Lange and was also dropped on 15, flashing hard outside off stump and getting a thick edge to third slip, where Charlie Hemphrey was unable to hold on.

Despite those chances, the opening pair added 77 and seemed set to remain in tandem at the tea interval - only for David Lloyd to strike with the final ball of the session, removing Eskinazi lbw for 31.

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Nick Gubbins made a cagey start, getting under way with a bottom edge that flew to the boundary, but he managed just five before Graeme Wagg produced a ball that nipped back and pinned him leg before.

Dawid Malan might well have made an immediate return to the pavilion, opting to hook his first ball and watching in relief as it dropped short of Timm van der Gugten, fielding at long leg.

However, the Middlesex skipper (20) seemed to be into his stride and had just dispatched de Lange for a sweetly-driven boundary when he feathered one through to Tom Cullen, who sprang in front of first slip to take the catch.

Robson, having progressed to his half-century from 95 deliveries, continued to look strong on the off side and carved Lukas Carey for two boundaries to advance to 85 at the close, with Paul Stirling (3 not out) alongside him at the crease.

Robson said: "We've played quite a bit of cricket here over the years and we train here, so we know what it's like, but it was still a good day for shots. You knew if you could hang in there, you'd get scoring opportunities.

"We're pretty happy with where we're at. We knew we were going to bat and thankfully it went all right. Even yesterday morning, when we came here for training, you know with the toss rule and the fact it's overcast, you're going to be in. but I think they've done a great job, the groundstaff, considering the weather we've had.

"I've not got as many as I should in the last few weeks since the 50-over stuff, so it was good to be back among the runs and hopefully I can keep going tomorrow.

"On a day where you're sitting around for a few hours, it can be hard to switch on and get out there, so it's pleasing we were able to start well and gain a little bit of momentum as we went on.

"I think the wicket will play tricks as the game goes on, so if we can get as many as we can - 350 or round about and hopefully some more - we'll see how we go."

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