Middlesex need strong start says Stirling

Middlesex's Paul Stirling (pic John Walton/PA)

Middlesex's Paul Stirling (pic John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Middlesex’s Paul Stirling says they need a strong start to day three of their County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire if they are to force their way back into the contest.

Dismissed for 233 in reply to the home side’s 427, Middlesex claimed a late wicket before Leicestershire could get off the mark.

And Stirling admitted that gave his side a bit of a lift after a tough day, saying; “It was nice to get a wicket at the end of the day, if we’re going to make a way back into the game it will have to be in the first session tomorrow, put some pressure on them that way.”

Colin Ackermann’s unbeaten 196 led the way for Leicestershire, as Tim Murtagh (5-60) proved the pick of Middlesex’s attack.

Stirling hit 10 fours in his 56-ball 52, putting on 80 with captain Dawid Malan, who finished unbeaten on 78 from 128 deliveries, with 12 boundaries.

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Stirling added; “Once you get in on the pitch it does get easier, and you need guys who are in to push on and get a big score, like Ackermann did for them. At the minute that’s the difference in the game.

“It looks like it won’t get any easier to bat on, but I still think you can put big partnerships together on it. Dawid Malan was brilliant on it and didn’t look like getting out towards the end, he just ran out of partners.

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“We’re still capable of winning the game. It’s a slowish deck that’s maybe going up and down a bit, but there are runs to be made.”

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