Four for Finn as 15 wickets fall at Lord’s

Close, day one: Middlesex 126-5 trail Durham 143 by 17 runs

Steven Finn reminded the England selectors what they are missing as he took four of the 15 wickets to fall on a bowler-friendly opening day.

The beanpole paceman, left out of the squad for England’s third Ashes Test against Australia, removed Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood and later cleaned up the tail as Durham were skittled for just 143.

But the Middlesex also found batting difficult and Graham Onions, another bowler discarded by England, took two wickets to reduce the hosts to 15-3.

Neil Dexter (40 not out) and Gareth Berg (28 not out) steadied the ship to put Middlesex within sight of a first innings lead.

This match is vital for both sides as they look to break from the pack to challenge Yorkshire and Sussex at the top of Division One.

Having won the toss, Middlesex were quickly into their stride and Tim Murtagh dismissed both openers inside the first overs to leave Durham on 13-3.

The Durham middle order strung together some brief partnerships but couldn’t muster anything meaningful, Gareth Berg taking 2-13 in 10 economical overs.

Paul Collingwood top scored until he offered a return catch to Finn on 30, leaving Durham on 112-7, and his England colleague ended what little resistance was offered.

However any hopes Middlesex might build a substantial  lead were quickly extinguished early in their reply.

Openers Joe Denly and Sam Robson scored just one run from the first four overs and the pressure told as both fell within four balls of each other.

When Onions dismissed Adam Voges for nine, Middlesex were struggling on 15-3 but Dexter shared in stands of 31 and 42 with Eoin Morgan and John Simpson to rescue things slightly.

Berg then came in to score 28 from 38 balls and help take Middlesex from 88-5 to their overnight score of 126-5, 17 runs behind.



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