DAY 3 STUMPS AT LORD'S: SOMERSET 376; MIDDLESEX 407-9

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Nick Gubbins got a monkey off his back when he celebrated a maiden first-class hundred at Lord’s today as Middlesex battled throughout day three to reach 407 for 9 and overhaul Somerset’s first innings 376 in the Specsavers County Championship.

While there was ecstasy for Gubbins, however, and a first-class best for Middlesex of 85 by Paul Stirling, there was agony for his fellow opener Sam Robson who failed by just one run to hit four successive hundreds at Lord’s when he was out for 99 in the Division One match.

But, less than a quarter-of-an-hour later, Gubbins joyously completed his long-awaited century, in his 39th innings and 23rd first-class match, and after being dismissed on three previous occasions in the 90s. The 22-year-old left-hander leapt in the air, with both arms raised, when he reached three figures with a driven boundary off Jim Allenby wide of mid on – and his burgeoning career will surely now kick on.

He was eventually dismissed soon after lunch for a near five-hour 109, with Marcus Trescothick taking a sharp chest-high catch slightly to his left at slip as Gubbins flashed at Allenby, but this season the former Radley College pupil already has 376 championship runs from eight innings. In 2015 he managed just 354 from seven four-day appearances, at an average of 27.23.

Robson was bowled by left-arm spinner Jack Leach, trying to cut, and his opening partnership of 198 with Gubbins also failed by a single run to match Middlesex’s first wicket record against Somerset – the 199 put on by Jack Robertson and Syd Brown at Lord’s in 1951.

Right-hander Robson, whose previous three championship innings at Lord’s were 114 not out, 106 and 231, had resumed on 67 in Middlesex’s overnight 139 without loss and batted overall for four hours, facing 206 balls and hitting 14 fours.

Before snaring Gubbins, who had been on 65 overnight and hit 15 fours from 234 balls with some eye-catching drives down the ground, medium pacer Allenby had also had Dawid Malan caught at slip for 5 and, armed with the second new ball, Tim Groenewald pinned both Adam Voges and John Simpson lbw, for 18 and 10 respectively, in an hour after lunch that seemed to have suddenly tipped the contest Somerset’s way.

From 252 for 5, however, Middlesex were revived by Stirling who, in stands of 49 and 71 with James Franklin and Ollie Rayner, guided them into the lead. Stirling hit a six and 11 fours in a responsible 132-ball effort after seeing Franklin edge Leach to slip for 23 and Rayner depart for 26 when he was leg-before to the same bowler.

Stirling also fell leg-before to the 25-year-old Leach, who bowled accurately and well to finish with 4 for 64 and might have been given even more than his 29 overs by Chris Rogers, the Somerset captain.

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DAY 3 TEA AT LORD'S: SOMERSET 376; MIDDLESEX 309-6

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Nick Gubbins celebrated a maiden first-class hundred at Lord’s today but Middlesex were still being made to work hard, at 309 for 6 at tea, in their efforts to overhaul Somerset’s first innings' 376 in the Specsavers County Championship.

While there was ecstasy for Gubbins, there was agony for his fellow opener Sam Robson who failed by just one run to hit four successive hundreds at Lord’s when he was out for 99 on day three of the Division One match.

But, less than a quarter-of-an-hour later, Gubbins joyously completed his long-awaited century, in his 39th innings and 23rd first-class match, and after three previous scores in the 90s.

Robson was bowled by left-arm spinner Jack Leach, trying to cut, as his opening partnership of 198 with Gubbins also failed by a single run to match Middlesex’s first wicket record against Somerset – the 199 put on by Jack Robertson and Syd Brown at Lord’s in 1951.

Right-hander Robson, whose previous three championship innings at Lord’s were 114 not out, 106 and 231, had resumed on 67 in Middlesex’s overnight 139 without loss and batted overall for four hours, facing 206 balls and hitting 14 fours.

Gubbins, a 22-year-old left-hander, drove Jim Allenby’s medium pace wide of mid on for his 14th four to reach three figures, from 208 balls, and celebrated with bat and both arms aloft in triumph.

Allenby had Dawid Malan caught at slip for 5 and, soon after lunch, the medium pacer saw Gubbins flash him to slip on 109. Armed with the second new ball, Tim Groenewald pinned both Adam Voges and John Simpson lbw, for 18 and 10 respectively, leaving James Franklin and Paul Stirling (32 not out) to dig in with a sixth wicket stand of 49 until Leach had Franklin caught at slip for 23 shortly before tea.  

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DAY 3 LUNCH AT LORD'S: SOMERSET 376; MIDDLESEX 218-2

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There was agony for Sam Robson but ecstasy for Nick Gubbins at Lord’s this morning as the two Middlesex openers experienced conflicting emotions in the Specsavers County Championship.

Robson failed by just one run to hit four successive hundreds at Lord’s when he was out for 99 on day three of the Division One match against Somerset.

But, less than a quarter-of-an-hour later, Gubbins completed his maiden first-class century, in his 39th innings and after three previous scores in the 90s, as Middlesex reached 218 for 2 by lunch in reply to Somerset’s 376.

Robson was bowled by left-arm spinner Jack Leach, trying to cut, as his opening partnership of 198 with Gubbins also failed by a single run to match Middlesex’s first wicket record against Somerset – the 199 put on by Jack Robertson and Syd Brown at Lord’s in 1951.

Right-hander Robson, whose previous three championship innings at Lord’s were 114 not out, 106 and 231, had resumed on 67 in Middlesex’s overnight 139 without loss and batted overall for four hours, facing 206 balls and hitting 14 fours.

Gubbins, a 22-year-old left-hander, drove Jim Allenby’s medium pace wide of mid on for his 14th four to reach three figures, from 208 balls, and celebrated with bat and both arms aloft in triumph.

Allenby then had Dawid Malan caught at slip for 5 but Adam Voges kept Gubbins, on 103 not out, company until the interval.