Pair hit career-best tons to boost Middlesex


Lancashire 513: Petersen 191; Rayner 4-120, Roland-Jones 4-122
Middlesex 419-5: Gubbins 201*, Eskinazi 106; Jarvis 2-101
Close, day three: Middlesex trail Lancashire by 94 runs

Nick Gubbins moved relentlessly to the first double-century of his career and Stevie Eskinazi scored a maiden hundred in only his third first-class innings as Middlesex made hay on a flat pitch at Lord’s.

When bad light and rain lopped the last 29 overs from the day, just after tea, Middlesex had reached 419-5, with Gubbins unbeaten on 201.

His final stroke, a resounding pull, was his 23rd four and the ball had still to cross the ropes when the left-hander – who made his maiden first-class hundred in Middlesex’s previous Championship fixture at Lord’s last month – was punching the air in delight.

Before tea, James Franklin scored 41 from 51 balls to help Gubbins in a fifth wicket stand of 95, which secured maximum batting points.

Earlier, Eskinazi went to three figures in memorable fashion shortly after lunch by slog-sweeping leg spinner Matt Parkinson for six into the Grand Stand.

Together, Gubbins and Eskinazi took their second-wicket partnership to 208, their run-making in the morning session cheered enthusiastically by around 5,000 local schoolchildren, visiting Lord’s as part of Middlesex’s annual Schools’ Day.

Gubbins has batted for seven hours and 24 minutes and hit three sixes besides his profitable tally of fours, while Eskinazi, in his first appearance of the season, faced 186 balls for his 106, before edging to second slip.

Lancashire’s pace attack, led by Kyle Jarvis and Neil Wagner, found little to encourage them in a slow, lifeless surface but the strike pair checked Middlesex’s progress for a while with the second new ball.

After Eskinazi had departed, Dawid Malan was held at second slip off Wagner for a bright 24 and, in the next over, John Simpson was bowled through the gate for one aiming an expansive drive at Jordan Clark.

Franklin, who hit seven fours in his selfless innings, was fifth out when he pushed at Jarvis and nicked behind, leaving Paul Stirling to keep Gubbins company until the early finish.