Cricket: Rayner delighted with Middlesex rewards

Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) and wicketkeeper John Simpson (left) celebrate (pic John Walton/PA)

Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) and wicketkeeper John Simpson (left) celebrate (pic John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Middlesex spinner Ollie Rayner admitted he was delighted to get back among the wickets on day two of their County Championship match with Leicestershire at Lord’s.

Rayner took 4-58 from 22 overs as the visitors closed on 257-9 in reply to Middlesex's 349.

And he broke a 110-run stand for the fifth wicket to dismiss Harry Dearden and prompt a fightback by Middlesex.

He said: "I'm delighted. It's been hard waiting for my turn to come in - the longer it's gone on, the more anxious I've been to get going.

"It was a great game-changing catch from Eski as well (to dismiss Dearden).

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"To come back and do what I'm paid to do with the ball today and knowing I've got more in the tank is great.

"Leicestershire batted well and it was good to break some key partnerships. We're in a good position and the boys have fought back really well."

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Tom Helm (2-56) and James Harris (2-64) nabbed braces for the hosts, after Nick Gubbins (75), George Scott (55) and Tom Lace (51) had led the way with the bat.

Middlesex will look to wrap up Leicestershire's innings quickly on day three, with Rayner adding: "The old saying is any lead is a good lead and if we can keep them to about 80 or 90 and apply some big scoreboard pressure for the last innings, it will be more a game of attrition.

"Hopefully I can get a bowl again second dig."

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