Middlesex ‘chased the day’ says Scott
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Middlesex head coach Richard Scott felt his side fought back well on the first day of their Division Two fixture at Derbyshire.
The home side’s top order all made starts, at a good scoring rate, but Middlesex reduced them to 167-7, before Hardus Viljoen hit an unbeaten 60 with four sixes and five fours during an 81-run stand in 15 overs with Tony Palladino (25) to lift the total to 265.
James Harris (4-68) and Tom Helm (3-46) were the pick of the Middlesex bowling, after Toby Roland-Jones was reduced to only five overs.
Middlesex closed on 45-3 in reply and Scott said: “We chased the day a bit. They came out as a batting unit with a lot of intent so were were disappointed we were chasing the game a bit although we did get ourselves back in a strong position mid-afternoon.
“I thought Viljoen played well but again we’ve been more disciplined than that in the past and it’s unusual for us to go for four an over. But with a bowler down in Toby to bowl them out for 265 you take.
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“We will assess him overnight and then a recovery session in the morning and then see how he pulls up. If he’s still stiff in his back we’ll have to have further investigation.”
Derbyshire’s Viljoen added: “It was tough out there and I knew it was going to take a bit of hard graft. Tony (Palladino) batted really well to stay there as well and we just said try and get a partnership going and get a decent score on the board.
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“Before the game we would have taken 265 but there’s still a lot of hard work to go. I believe we are in a good position and our destiny is in our own hands at this stage.
“It’s a really good cricket wicket, it’s a touch drier than I thought it was going to be with all the rain around but if you keep to your disciplines you will be rewarded and I think on this wicket you need to have patience as a bowler.”