Middlesex First Innings: 392

Cambridge MCCU First Innings: 7 for 2

On a glorious spring day at Fenner’s, Middlesex made good use of the conditions in reaching a total of 392 all out and then reducing Cambridge MCCU to 7-2 in the remaining four overs of play on the opening day. With this being the third Cambridge MCCU match of the new season, it does not have first-class status. Middlesex omitted Tom Helm and Ravi Patel from their thirteen man squad and after skipper James Franklin won the toss and elected to bat first, Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins opened the Middlesex innings.

Robson and Gubbins had to survive some testing overs, particularly against the left-arm seam bowling of Rippington who had taken two five wicket hauls in the MCCU’s first two matches. The total reached 42-0 in the tenth over at which point, Gubbins was dropped by Wright at cover. Robson had played some fine shots through the covers but with the total on 68-0, he was caught at the wicket off the bowling of Rippington for 42.

Steve Eskinazi joined Gubbins and the pair took the total to 96-1 after 27 overs before Eskinazi hit the first two balls of the following over from Chapman for fours before he was bowled next ball for 20. Dawid Malan got off the mark with a first ball cover drive for four and with Gubbins took the total to 134-2 before Gubbins was caught at slip for 38 off the off-spin bowling of Guest. James Franklin joined Malan and the pair took Middlesex to 149-3 at lunch with Malan 43 not out.

Only a further thirteen runs were added after lunch before James Franklin went down the wicket against Chapman’s spin bowling and having missed the ball, he was stumped by Cambridge MCCU captain Joe Tetley for nine. John Simpson joined Dawid Malan who reached a 51 ball fifty shortly afterwards. Malan then took thirteen runs off the last three balls of Chapman’s thirteenth over to bring the total to 208-4 after 55 overs.

John Simpson continued his fine early season form and he reached a 91 ball fifty (7 fours) before he was caught at cover point for 57 off the bowling of Chapman with the Middlesex total on 273-4. Two balls later, Dawid Malan reached his hundred (off 127 balls, 2 sixes & 12 fours) and he went on to make 116 before he top-edged a pull and he was well caught by the bowler, Guest. Toby Roland-Jones joined Ryan Higgins at the wicket and the pair took Middlesex into tea on 305-6 after 83 overs.

After tea, the Middlesex batsmen were held up by some good bowling by Rippington and Poulson before thirteen runs came off a Moses over when he replaced Poulson at the Gresham Road End. In the following over however, Rippington had Higgins caught at the wicket for 32 and it was Rippington who also had Ollie Rayner caught at the wicket by Tetley for four to leave Middlesex on 362-8.

Tim Murtagh joined Roland-Jones and the pair took Middlesex to 384-8 before Rippington bowled Murtagh for seven. Toby Roland-Jones reached a 72 ball fifty (7 fours) before last man Steve Finn was caught at extra cover by Poulson for six leaving Roland-Jones undefeated on 51 not out in a Middlesex total of 392 – Rippington finished with figures of 5-91 in 28 overs, a splendid effort.

Fifteen minutes of play remained when Cambridge MCCU began their reply and after Palmer played out a maiden over from Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones struck with his first ball when he trapped Wright LBW for a first ball duck. When Tim Murtagh trapped Palmer LBW for a duck in the following over, Cambridge MCCU were 0-2. Greenidge got off the mark with a three and with four byes coming off the final ball of the days’ play, Cambridge MCCU finished on 7-2.