DAY TWO STUMPS: MDDLESEX 467-3D; HAMPSHIRE 131 & 62-3

FULL SCORECARD

Tim Murtagh took 4 for 33 to spearhead a superb Middlesex bowling performance and leave Hampshire facing the prospect of an innings defeat at Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood.

Tumbled out for 131 in reply to Middlesex’s 467 for 3 declared, Hampshire then slid to 62 for 3 when forced to follow on with Murtagh immediately picking up another wicket and James Fuller taking 2 for 24.

Sean Ervine was Hampshire’s first innings top scorer with just 31 as Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones, who flattened the tail to finish with 4 for 49, ran amok under grey skies in north-west London. At stumps, Middlesex were in sight of wrapping up a first win of the season in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship, after six draws from their first six games of the campaign.

Hampshire’s second innings began with Murtagh removing Will Smith with the second ball of the opening over, caught at the wicket, and Fuller then had Michael Carberry well held at second slip for 21 before clean bowling Ervine for 1.

It was hard to fathom, as the wickets tumbled, that earlier in the day Middlesex had declared their own first innings on such an imposing total after thumping a further 125 runs in just 80 minutes after resuming on 342 for 3 with John Simpson rushing to 100 not out and Adam Voges ending up with an unbeaten 160.

Initially, Murtagh took 3 for 17 in 12 overs either side of lunch to fatally undermine Hampshire’s reply and both Fuller and Ollie Rayner chipped in with wickets before Murtagh returned to wrap up the innings in tandem with a hostile Roland-Jones.

Fuller, signed from Gloucestershire last winter, picked up a first championship wicket for Middlesex when he had Liam Dawson brilliantly caught for 21 by Sam Robson diving to his left at gully, in his sixth over.

And, just before tea, off spinner Rayner had 19-year-old Joe Weatherley caught off bat and pad for 4 on his championship debut, leaving Ervine and Adam Wheater to offer the only remaining resistance as the decline continued in the final session.

In seven overs’ batting before lunch, Hampshire lost Carberry for 4 to a catch at the wicket off Murtagh, and both the veteran seamer and his new ball partner, Roland-Jones, beat the bat regularly. It was no surprise when both Smith and Adams fell to the metronomic Murtagh after the interval.

Smith, on 12, edged to third slip while Adams was bowled for 19. Roland-Jones had just been driven imperiously to the extra cover boundary by Wheater when the Hampshire keeper edged him behind on 22 and Murtagh ended Ervine’s resistance by finding another thin edge.

Tino Best hit his first ball to mid on and Roland-Jones was on a hat-trick when Mason Crane edged to first slip. Last man James Tomlinson kept that ball out, but was powerless to do anything but fend a vicious lifter to third slip as Roland-Jones wrapped up the innings in merciless fashion.

How different batting seemed at the start of day two when Simpson played with freedom and flair to complete the fifth first-class hundred of his career as he and Voges took their unbroken fourth wicket partnership to 174.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Simpson, on 28 overnight, sprinted to three figures with three sixes and 13 fours and scored 72 from 61 balls this morning.

Voges, who resumed on 128 and batted in all for 315 balls, hitting 15 fours, immediately declared once Simpson went to his hundred with a pull for four off Tomlinson.

Hampshire’s bowling attack was already wilting when former West Indies fast bowler Best received an official warning from umpires Neil Mallender and Jeremy Lloyds for sending down a head high beamer at Voges that flew away to the boundary – the six no balls which resulted bringing up Middlesex’s 400 in the 107th over of their innings and securing them a maximum five batting bonus points.

Voges was happy to play a supporting role as 27-year-old left-hander Simpson set about the bowlers. He pulled Tomlinson for six before driving left-arm spinner Dawson twice for six, either side of reverse-sweeping him cheekily for four in an over costing 17.  

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DAY TWO TEA: MDDLESEX 467-3D; HAMPSHIRE 101-5

FULL SCORECARD

Tim Murtagh took 3 for 17 in 12 overs either side of lunch as Hampshire slid to 101 for 5 in reply to Middlesex’s imposing first innings total of 467 for 3 declared at Northwood.

Murtagh’s new ball strikes were soon followed by a first Middlesex championship wicket for James Fuller, the winter signing from Gloucestershire, who had Liam Dawson brilliantly caught for 21 by Sam Robson diving to his left at gully, in his sixth over.

And, just before tea, off spinner Ollie Rayner had 19-year-old Joe Weatherley caught off bat and pad for 4 on his championship debut, leaving Sean Ervine on 27 not out to try to keep Hampshire afloat. Middlesex, chasing a first win of the season in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship after six draws, saw John Simpson earlier complete the fifth first-class hundred of his career as he and Adam Voges took their unbroken fourth wicket stand to 174.

Simpson, on 28 overnight, sprinted to three figures with three sixes and 13 fours. Voges, who resumed on 128 and finished on 160 not out, immediately declared once Simpson went to 100 not out with a pull for four off James Tomlinson.

The Middlesex pair added 125 runs in just under 20 overs after resuming on 342 for 3 and, in seven overs’ batting before lunch, Hampshire lost Michael Carberry for 4 to a catch at the wicket off seamer Murtagh. Murtagh and his new ball partner, Toby Roland-Jones, beat the bat regularly and it was no surprise when both Will Smith and Jimmy Adams also fell to the metronomic Murtagh.

Smith, on 12, edged to third slip while Adams was bowled for 19. Wicketkeeper-batsman Simpson scored 72 runs from 61 balls today and Hampshire’s bowling attack was already wilting when fast bowler Tino Best received an official warning from umpires Neil Mallender and Jeremy Lloyds for sending down a head high beamer at Voges that flew away to the boundary – the six no balls which resulted bringing up Middlesex’s 400 in the 107th over of their innings and securing them a maximum five batting bonus points.

Voges was happy to play a supporting role as 27-year-old left-hander Simpson set about the bowlers. He pulled Tomlinson for six before driving left-arm spinner Dawson twice for six, either side of reverse-sweeping him cheekily for four in an over costing 17.

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DAY TWO LUNCH: MIDDLESEX 467-3D; HAMPSHIRE 15-1

FULL SCORECARD

John Simpson’s sparkling 100 not out enabled Middlesex to declare at 467 for 3 after 80 minutes’ batting today – and then put Hampshire under further pressure by reducing them to 15 for 1 by lunch on day two of the Specsavers County Championship Division One match at Northwood.

Seamer Tim Murtagh struck in his second over to have Michael Carberry caught behind for 4, and under cloud cover the second wicket pair of Jimmy Adams and Will Smith had to fight hard for survival against Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones in the first seven overs of their reply.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Simpson scored 72 runs from 61 balls after Middlesex resumed on 342 or 3, dominating the Hampshire bowlers as his fourth wicket partnership with Adam Voges reached an unbroken 174 from 38.3 overs by the time of the declaration.

Middlesex captain Voges remained 160 not out after starting the day on 128, and Hampshire fast bowler Tino Best received an official warning from umpires Neil Mallender and Jeremy Lloyds for sending down a head high beamer at Voges that flew away to the boundary – the six no balls which resulted bringing up Middlesex’s 400 in the 107th over of their innings and securing them a maximum five batting bonus points.

Voges was happy to play a supporting role as 27-year-old left-hander Simpson set about a wilting Hampshire attack. He pulled James Tomlinson for six before driving left-arm spinner Liam Dawson twice for six, either side of reverse-sweeping him cheekily for four in an over costing 17.

Best’s last two overs went for 29, including the no balls and another wild delivery which produced five wides, and when Simpson pulled Tomlinson for his 13th four to go to his fifth first-class hundred it meant that 125 runs had been added in less than 20 overs.