Middlesex vs Lancashire, Day 3:

Middlesex 419/5, Lancashire 513

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Stevie Eskinazi scored a maiden hundred in only his third first-class innings while Nick Gubbins moved relentlessly to the first double-century of his career as Middlesex replied to Lancashire’s 513 in determined fashion on a flat pitch at Lord’s.

When bad light and rain lopped the last 29 overs from the day’s allocation, from just after tea, Middlesex had reached 419 for 5, with Gubbins unbeaten on 201 after hitting what proved to be the last three balls of the day for 4, 2, 4 off Kyle Jarvis.

His final stroke, a resounding pull, was his 23rd four and the ball had still to cross the ropes when the left-hander – who made his maiden first-class hundred in Middlesex’s previous championship fixture at Lord’s, against Somerset in late May – was punching the air in delight.

Before the tea interval, James Franklin scored 41 from 51 balls to help Gubbins, in a fifth wicket stand of 95 in 15.3 overs, to secure for Middlesex a maximum five batting points with more than three overs to spare.

Eskinazi, meanwhile, had raised his own bat aloft in triumph after going to three figures in memorable fashion shortly after lunch by slog-sweeping leg spinner Matt Parkinson for six into the Grand Stand.

This Specsavers County Championship Division One match looks destined to be a run-filled draw, but there was still interest in the game’s third day as Gubbins and Eskinazi, both 22, took their second wicket partnership to 208 after Middlesex resumed on 146 for 1. Their run-making in the morning session was cheered enthusiastically by around 5,000 local schoolchildren, who were visiting Lord’s as part of Middlesex’s annual Schools’ Day.

Gubbins has batted for seven hours and 24 minutes, facing 329 balls and hitting three sixes besides his profitable tally of fours, while Eskinazi, in only his second first-class match and first of this season, faced 186 balls across almost four hours for his 106. In his only previous first-class game, against Yorkshire at Lord’s last September, Eskinazi made 22 and 4.

Eskinazi struck 13 fours, as well as the dramatic six to go to his century, and batted with calm judgement throughout. His best shot, a dreamy and effortless push-drive down the ground off Jarvis for four, was also his last; he edged the next ball, from Jarvis, to second slip.

Parkinson, the 19-year-old who took 5 for 49 against Warwickshire on his first-class debut at Old Trafford last week, was hit for six over long on by Gubbins, a stroke which took the opener to 95, but soon afterwards beat him outside off stump on 98 and also saw him edge just short of slip on the same score. Moreover, Gubbins survived a tough low chance to diving keeper Steven Croft off seamer Jordan Clark, on 96.

Overall, however, Gubbins played with fluency and little trouble and a real feature of his innings was the power and timing of his stylish driving through extra cover – the first, off Jarvis early in the day, setting the tone for a third successive day of bat dominating ball.

Lancashire’s pace attack, led by Jarvis and Neil Wagner, found little to encourage them in a slow, lifeless surface but the strike pair both still ran in strongly with the second new ball to check Middlesex’s progress for a while in the afternoon session.

After Eskinazi had departed, Dawid Malan was held at second slip off Wagner for a bright 24 and, in the next over, John Simpson was bowled through the gate for 1 aiming an expansive drive at Clark.

Franklin, who hit seven fours in his selfless innings, was fifth out when he pushed at Jarvis and nicked behind to Croft, leaving Paul Stirling to come in at No 7 to keep Gubbins company until the early finish to the day and deny Lancashire a second bowling bonus point.

 

Tea

Stevie Eskinazi scored a maiden first-class hundred in only his third innings at this level while Nick Gubbins moved relentlessly to 189 not out as Middlesex replied to Lancashire’s 513 in determined fashion at Lord’s. 

At tea Middlesex had reached 407 for 5, with James Franklin hitting 41 from 51 balls to help Gubbins, in a stand of 95 in 15.3 overs, to secure a maximum five batting points with more than three overs to spare.

Eskinazi raised his bat aloft in triumph after going to three figures in memorable fashion by slog-sweeping leg spinner Matt Parkinson for six into the Grand Stand.

The Specsavers County Championship Division One match looks destined to be a run-filled draw, but there was still interest in the game’s third day as Gubbins and Eskinazi, both 22, took their second wicket partnership to 208.

By tea Gubbins had batted for seven hours and ten minutes, facing 320 balls and having hit 21 fours and a six, while Eskinazi, in only his second first-class match and first of this season, faced 186 balls across almost four hours.

Eskinazi struck 13 fours, as well as the dramatic six to go to his century, and batted with calm judgement throughout. His best shot, a dreamy and effortless push-drive down the ground off Kyle Jarvis for four, was also his last; he edged the next ball, from Jarvis, to second slip.

Parkinson, the 19-year-old who took 5 for 49 against Warwickshire on his first-class debut at Old Trafford last week, was hit for six over long on by Gubbins, which took the opener to 95, but soon afterwards beat him outside off stump on 98 and also saw him edge just short of slip on the same score. Moreover, left-hander Gubbins survived a tough low chance to diving keeper Steven Croft off seamer Jordan Clark, on 96.

Lancashire’s seamers, led by Jarvis and Neil Wagner, found little to encourage them in a slow, lifeless surface but still ran in strongly with the second new ball to check Middlesex’s progress for a while in the afternoon session.

After Eskinazi had departed, Dawid Malan was held at second slip off Wagner for a bright 24 and, in the next over, John Simpson was bowled through the gate for 1 aiming an expansive drive at Jordan Clark.

Franklin, who hit seven fours in his selfless innings, was fifth out when he pushed at Jarvis and nicked behind to Croft.

 

Lunch

Nick Gubbins completed the second first-class hundred of his career, and Stevie Eskinazi was approaching his maiden century, as Middlesex replied to Lancashire’s 513 in determined fashion at Lord’s.

The Specsavers County Championship Division One match looks destined to be a run-filled draw, but there was still much of interest on the game’s third morning as Gubbins and Eskinazi, both 22, took their second wicket partnership to 180 and Middlesex’s first innings total to 239 for 1.

At lunch Gubbins was unbeaten on 111, having faced 229 balls and hit 12 fours and a six, while Eskinazi remained 91 not out from 168 balls. In his first championship innings of the season, and in only his second first-class appearance, Eskinazi had struck 12 fours and batted with calm judgement. 

A crowd considerably boosted by the presence of around 5,000 schoolchildren, packed into the New Mound Stand as part of their annual Schools’ Day visit to Lord’s, also saw 19-year-old Matt Parkinson bowling his leg spinners for Lancashire after taking 5 for 49 against Warwickshire last week on his first-class debut. 

Parkinson was hit for six over long on by Gubbins, taking the opener to 95, but soon afterwards he beat him outside off stump on 98 and also saw him edge just short of slip on the same score. Moreover, Gubbins survived a tough low chance to diving keeper Steven Croft off seamer Jordan Clark, on 96. 

Lancashire’s seamers, led by Kyle Jarvis and Neil Wagner, found no joy in a slow, lifeless surface but still made the young Middlesex pair work for their runs after resuming on 146 for 1.

Gubbins, 71 not out overnight, got himself going again by driving Jarvis beautifully through extra cover for four while Eskinazi, who resumed on 43, reached his fifty with a thick-edged four to third man as he leant out to try to square drive a wide, full ball from Wagner.