DAY TWO CLOSE OF PLAY

NOTTS 241 & 24-0

MIDDLESEX 247

A resolute, watchful innings from Nick Gubbins helped Middlesex into a slender advantage on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Gubbins batted for just over five hours in making 75, scoring his runs from 226 deliveries with seven fours. He received solid support from James Franklin, with 40, and Steve Eskinazi, who added 35, as the visitors posted 247 all out. Jake Ball, who had claimed a hat-trick on the first evening to leave Middlesex on nought for three, added a couple more wickets to his tally to close with five for 66, his best of the season.

Batting for a second time, with a deficit of six, Notts quickly re-established the lead as they reached stumps on 24 without loss. After the fireworks of the previous day, the tempo of the game was reduced dramatically as the opening two hours brought a meagre 56 run return for the loss of one wicket. Dawid Malan was the batsman to fall, looking unhappy at the lbw decision which brought his innings to an end on 13. He briefly thrust both hands on top of his helmet in disappointment, clearly unable to comprehend his fate.

Bowler Brett Hutton, meanwhile, was already celebrating a success with just his fourth ball of the day. Eskinazi boosted the run rate, taking three consecutive boundaries from the bowling of Jake Ball to reach 35 but was then bamboozled, baffled and bowled by the leg spin of Imran Tahir. John Simpson busily worked his way to 27 before Hutton found a way through his defences to knock back the off stump for his second wicket of the day and then he made the new ball count by having Gubbins caught behind.

Ball’s return into the attack brought about the downfall of former team-mate Franklin. The Middlesex skipper, who played for Notts in 2014, made 40 before lifting into the hands of third man. Toby Roland-Jones presented the same bowler with his fifth success, clipping straight back into the bowler’s hands. The Division One leaders inched ahead but fell short of a second batting point as Tahir bowled Steven Finn for 10. Steven Mullaney and Jake Libby wiped out the arrears in the first over of Nottinghamshire’s second innings and hung around until stumps, 18 ahead.

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TEA

By the tea interval they had moved on to 158 for six, still 83 runs behind the home side’s 241. Nick Gubbins, the opener, remains at the crease, having faced 200 deliveries for his uneaten 56. James Franklin, his captain, has 10.

The leaders lost the wicket of Stephen Eskinazi soon after lunch, bringing an end to a fifth wicket partnership of 42. The 22-year old right-hander had taken three consecutive boundaries from the bowling of Jake Ball to reach 35 but was then bamboozled and bowled by the leg spin of Imran Tahir.

John Simpson busily worked his way to 27 before Brett Hutton found a way through his defences to knock back the off stump for his second wicket of the day.

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LUNCH
MIDDLESEX 65-4
NOTTS 241 ALL OUT 

After the fireworks of the first evening, which brought a hat-trick for Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball, it was rather more composed fare on offer at Trent Bridge on the second morning of the Specsavers County Championship match between the hosts and Middlesex.

Beginning the morning on nine for three, the current Division One leaders added only 56 runs during the two hour session as they reached lunch on 65-4.

Nick Gubbins has been there since the start; realising 26 from 121 deliveries. His partnership with Stephen Eskinzai, who has 20, has so far produced 26 runs from 141 balls.

The only wicket to fall was that of Dawid Malan, who looked unhappy at the lbw decision which brought his innings to an end on 13. The batsman briefly thrust both hands on top of his helmet in disappointment, clearly unable to comprehend his fate. Bowler Brett Hutton, meanwhile, was already celebrating a success with just his fourth ball of the day.