MATCH DRAWN: ESSEX 370-7; Middlesex 328-7
Middlesex batted the whole of the second day of the friendly match against Essex at Chelmsford and finished the day on 328-7 in their ninety overs. The match resulted in a draw and a Twenty20 match will be played on the final day, starting at 11.00am.
The Essex attack of Porter and Dixon found the early-Spring wicket conducive to movement and Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins survived the opening nine overs to reach 18-0 before Jesse Ryder and David Masters were introduced to the attack. Gubbins took ten runs off Ryder’s first over but after that runs were hard to find. The total reached 44-0 after 19 overs before Ryder had Gubbins caught at second slip by Tom Westley for 21.
Paul Stirling joined Robson and he got off the mark with a four, second ball. Robson played solidly although he did survive a concerted appeal for a catch at the wicket. Stirling was missed by Alistair Cook at first slip off the bowling of Beard but Robson and Stirling were still together at lunch with the total on 83-1 after 30 overs with Robson on 35 and Stirling on 22.
Porter returned to the attack immediately after lunch but Robson hit him for three fluent cover-driven fours in the over before Jesse Ryder trapped Paul Stirling LBW for 22 with his first delivery after the break. Dawid Malan joined Robson who reached an104-ball fifty with his eleventh four of his innings. In the now bright sunshine, Robson and Malan batted with increasing confidence and the total advanced to 157-2 before Dawid Malan was LBW to Tom Westley’s off-spin for 19.
John Simpson joined Robson at the wicket and Robson stroked Dixon for the successive fours to take him to 99 but off the next delivery from Dixon, he was caught at the wicket by James Foster for 99 (off 177 balls, 20 fours). James Franklin came in with the total on 169-4 and with Simpson took Middlesex into tea at 201-4 after 63 overs (Simpson 22).
After tea, John Simpson hit Dixon for three fours in the second over and with Franklin took Middlesex to 231-4 after 73 overs. Simpson then struck Porter for successive fours, the second of which brought up his fifty off 68 balls (1 six & 9 fours). However, in the following over, Simpson was bowled by David Masters for 51 which brought Ollie Rayner to the wicket with the score on 240-5.
Callum Taylor conceded 22 runs in two overs as Middlesex advanced to 274-5 after 81 overs before Aaron Beard stuck twice with successive deliveries. Firstly he trapped James Franklin LBW for 30 (off 79 balls) before dismissing Toby Roland-Jones in the same manner for a first ball duck. James Harris survived the ‘hat-trick’ ball and thereafter Ollie Rayner played some fine shots to finish undefeated on 47 (off 45 balls, 10 fours) with James Harris 19 not out in a Middlesex total of 328-7 in 90 overs.
Essex used a total of ten bowlers with Jesse Ryder taking 2-42 in 15 overs, Aaron Beard 2-63 in 12 overs, David Masters 1-33 in 13 overs, Matt Dixon 1-46 in 16 overs and Tom Westley 1-37 in 10 overs.