Cricket: Middlesex skittled by Sussex seamer Robinson

Stevie Eskinazi in batting action for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Stevie Eskinazi in batting action for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson took career-best figures of 8-34 against Middlesex on a remarkable first day in the Specsavers County Championship match at Hove.

The 25-year-old, who is on England's radar after making his Lions debut last month, took the first eight wickets to fall as Middlesex slumped to 44-8 before recovering partially to 75 all out. Sussex were 128-3 at stumps, a lead of 53.

Robinson's return was the best in the County Championship this season and enhanced the seamer's already remarkable record against Middlesex.

In three matches he has taken 46 wickets including 18 this season - with power to add in the second innings.

Robinson walked off at tea to a standing ovation and was presented with his county cap by Sussex skipper Ben Brown. His figures are the best by a Sussex bowler at Hove since Ted James took 9-60 against Yorkshire in 1955.

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Middlesex had been put in following a delayed start at 2.30pm because of morning rain and Robinson was on a roll straight away when he picked up a wicket with his first ball as Sam Robson edged to wicketkeeper Ben Brown pushing forward.

Bowling an exemplary off-stump line and length and finding just enough seam movement, six of his victims were caught behind the wicket with Harry Finch claiming two catches at second slip including Stevie Eskinazi and James Harris who departed in the space of three balls in the 13th over.

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His second victim Nick Gubbins was his 200th in the County Championship and when Nathan Sowter became his eighth in his ninth over Robinson was on course to take all 10 wickets.

Such was his control, he was only hit for one boundary in front of square. He now has 48 Championship wickets in just eight games at 15.48 this season.

Robinson was among the first to congratulate Tom Haines when he had Toby Roland Jones caught by Finch driving at an away-swinger and after last man Tim Murtagh had slogged 20 - along with Eskinazi (24) the only batsman to reach double figures - leg-spinner Will Beer ended the innings when Steven Finn (5) padded up.

Middlesex's total was the lowest Championship score at Hove since Sussex were dismissed for 71 by Gloucestershire 19 years ago.

Both sides need to win to keep their promotion hopes alive and Sussex were soon in trouble themselves at 15-3.

Phil Salt clipped the third ball from Murtagh to mid-wicket, Haines drove loosely at Roland-Jones and was taken at gully and Roland-Jones had a second wicket when Finch was leg before for a duck.

But Luke Wells and Australian Alex Carey, who was making his Championship debut, put on an unbeaten 113 for the fourth wicket with Wells reaching his 50 just before the close when he drove Nathan Sowter through the off side for his ninth boundary. He will resume on 52 while Carey is unbeaten on 46.

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