Middlesex’s James Fuller’s show of defiance helps steady ship after early collapse against Warwickshire
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Fourteen wickets fell with nearly 400 runs scored on day one of the Division Two County Championship match at Lord’s between Middlesex and Warwickshire on Sunday.
Home captain Dawid Malan won the toss and elected to bat as Middlesex were bowled out for 236. It could have been a lot worse for the Seaxes as they had been reduced to 7-76 at one point – before James Fuller rallied the lower order with a defiant 71 off 90 balls.
The visitors reached stumps on 152-4 at the end of an eventful day, with all four wickets to fall lbw, with stalwart Tim Murtagh taking 2-26 off 11 overs of tight bowling, including the wicket of former England Test batsman Ian Bell for just eight.
Ollie Rayner, back from his short loan spell at Hampshire in a bid to get more game time, had Jonathan Trott, Bell’s former England five-day colleague, out lbw with Harris taking the wicket of former Surrey youngster Dom Sibley, for 14.
Earlier Fuller helped form tailend partnerships which added 160 vital runs to the total, as Rayner chipped in with 28.
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Max Holden fell just two short of his half century as he was out trapped leg before by veteran Kiwi Jeetan Patel.
Paul Stirling was promoted to opener but was out to Chris Wright’s outswinger luring his to edge to Bell at slip.
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The visitors Chris Woakes in his first county match of the summer appeared rusty as he failed to grab a wicket, conceding 75 runs off his 14 overs.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s introduiction precipated a collapse after yorking Nick Gubbins.
After Pereth-born Steve Eskinazi edged Wright shortly afterwards Hannon-Dalby castled Eoin Morgan’s at 60-4.
Ryan Sidebottom – who grabbed 3-34 – snaffled England Test batsman Dawid Malan who nicked it to Tim Amborse behind the stumps as John Simpson and Harris were out t shortly afterwards to make it a trio of wickets in only 10 balls.
An unbeaten half century from 23-year-old Will Rhodes meant the opening day of this absorbing match ended in Warwickshire’s favour.