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Middlesex v Yorkshire (Day 1) Close:

— 27 April 2014

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Scorecard

A day which had begun with a blazered Joe Root proudly striding out to the middle at the home of cricket to toss the coin with Middlesex’s Chris Rogers ended with the 23-year-old being left in no doubt about both the cares and joys of captaincy.

Chosen to skipper Yorkshire when official skipper Andrew Gale left himself out of the side, Root made a fifth-ball duck as Yorkshire wickets tumbled in the opening two sessions. However, he was then encouraged by a Liam Plunkett half-century as the visitors recovered to reach 178 all out.

The stand-in skipper then saw Jack Brooks take two early wickets although Middlesex had recovered to reach 64-3 when bad light and rain ended the day’s play 19 overs early at Lord’s. Root may well sleep well tonight after one of the more hectic days of his still brief career.

Some pundits may judge that the game is evenly poised but that outcome had seemed very distant at the end of the morning session when Yorkshire were just 76-4, a total which owed a great deal to Kane Williamson’s 74-ball 30.

The New Zealander’s defiant innings was ended by a superb catch by second slip Ollie Rayner off James Harris just before the end of a session in which the visitors had earlier lost Alex Lees (2) Root (0) and Adam Lyth (34). All of which made it a good morning for Chris Rogers’ Middlesex attack after they had asked Yorkshire to bat first on a cloudy morning.

Lees was the first to go in the third over of the day when he inside-edged Tim Murtagh to wicket-keeper John Simpson. However, Lyth and Williamson produced an array of sweet boundaries in their 52-run stand for the second wicket before England seamer Steve Finn struck twice in successive overs.

First, the tall fast bowler had Lyth well caught down the leg side by Simpson for 30 and he then trapped Root lbw on the back foot for a fifth-ball duck on his return to first-class cricket. At the interval Gary Ballance was unbeaten on eight and Adil Rashid had yet to get off the mark.

The second session of play began no better for Yorkshire and when Gary Ballance was caught in the gully by Same Robson for 20 at 2.37pm the visitors were in something of a mire at 113-7. And if Ryan Sidebottom had not been dropped at second slip by the previously excellent Rayner off the third ball he received Yorkshire may not have had the chance to recover as they did.

In the event Plunkett produced a hard-hitting unbeaten 56 and added 48 for the eighth wicket with Sidebottom before the visitors lost their last three batsmen for 17 runs against Middlesex’s powerful pace attack in often overcast conditions.

Plunkett hit ten fours in his 55-ball innings, Sidebottom made 12, all of them in boundaries, to give Yorkshire’s bowlers something of a total to bowl at. It was Plunkett’s third first-class fifty for Yorkshire.

For Middlesex Steven Finn did his Test chances no harm by taking 4-50 off 17 overs, while James Harris and Tim Murtagh claimed three wickets apiece.

In the truncated evening session, Brooks bowled with pace and movement to remove both Chris Rogers and Robson with only 20 runs on the board. Rogers was taken by Lyth at second slip for one and England hopeful Robson caught behind for seven.

Dawid Malan then batted fluently and added 37 with Eoin Morgan before he lost his off stump to Sidebottom and trudged off having made a fluent 31. Morgan was unbeaten on 24 and Neil Dexter had yet to get off the mark when bad light and rain closed in.

Tea:

Scorecard

Liam Plunkett produced a hard-hitting unbeaten 56 to help Yorkshire reach 178 all out at tea on the first day of their game against Middlesex at Lord’s.

That may seem a modest effort but it was riches indeed compared to the White Rose’s plight when Gary Ballance was caught in the gully at 2.37 and the visitors were 113-7. And if Ryan Sidebottom had not been dropped at second slip by the previously excellent Ollie Rayner off the third ball he received Yorkshire may not have had the chance to reach relative respectability.

As it was, Sidebottom and Plunkett added 48 for the eighth wicket before the visitors lost their last three batsmen for 17 runs against Middlesex’s powerful pace attack in often overcast conditions.

Plunkett hit ten fours in his 55-ball innings, Sidebottom made 12, all of them in boundaries, to give Yorkshire’s bowlers something of a total to bowl at. It was Plunkett’s third first-class fifty for Yorkshire.

For Middlesex Steven Finn did his Test chances no harm by taking 4-50 off 17 overs, while James Harris and Tim Murtagh claimed three wickets apiece.

Lunch:

Scorecard

Kane Williamson was fourth out for 30 as a Yorkshire side, captained for the first time by Joe Root, progressed uncertainly to 76-4 at lunch on the first day of their LV= Division One match against Middlesex at Lord’s.

Williamson’s defiant innings was ended by a superb catch by second slip Ollie Rayner off James Harris just before the end of a first session in which the visitors had earlier lost Alex Lees (2) Root (0) and Adam Lyth (34). All of which made it a good morning for Chris Rogers’ Middlesex attack after they had asked Yorkshire to bat first on a cloudy morning.

Lees was the first to go in the third over of the day when he inside-edged Tim Murtagh to wicket-keeper John Simpson. However, Lyth and Williamson produced an array of sweet boundaries in their 52-run stand for the second wicket before England seamer Steve Finn struck twice in successive overs.

First, the tall fast bowler had Lyth well caught down the leg side by Simpson for 30 and he then trapped Joe Root lbw on the back foot for a fifth-ball duck on his return to first-class cricket. At the interval Gary Ballance was unbeaten on eight and Adil Rashid had yet to get off the mark.

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