Close, day two: Somerset 173, Middlesex 321-2
Middlesex 6pts, Somerset 0pts
Middlesex captain Chris Rogers hit his second century in as many First Division matches to confirm a return to his best form.
The left-hand opener took over the captaincy temporarily from Neil Dexter last month – with the regular skipper relinquishing responsibility in search of his own lost form.
Rogers struggled with the bat in his first matches in charge of the side but sealed his first century of the Championship season against Lancashire at Liverpool towards the end of May.
And he came tantalisingly close to his first of the season at Lord’s against Sussex last week before being bowled out just two runs short.
But his ton at the home of cricket on day two against Somerset put Middlesex in a fantastic position, 148 runs ahead with eight wickets remaining, with Joe Denly bagging a hundred of his own.
Middlesex still had a job to do with the ball first thing, with Somerset resuming on 130-4 and England’s Craig Kieswetter on the cusp of a half-century with fellow Lions player Jos Butler.
But the Middlesex bowlers, who are also enjoying a rich supply of wickets at the moment, disposed of the remaining six with just 43 more runs posted on the board by the visitors.
Kieswetter was gone on the first ball of the day, edging behind the wicketkeeper, giving Gareth Berg a second wicket of the opening innings and Butler (0) gave Tim Murtagh his second in the following over.
Murtagh was then on a hat-trick with still nothing posted on the board by Somerset as he sent Craig Overton back where he came from for another duck.
And then it was four wickets in 10 deliveries with no runs when Berg removed Alfonso Thomas, making it a hat-trick of ducks.
Peter Trego finally made 38 for Somerset with George Dockrell adding five extras but the last two wickets were taken by Toby Roland-Jones.
Rogers hit 23 fours and three sixes on the way to posting 173 from 191 balls, and his partnershop with Denly was 245 before Rogers was finally caught by Arul Suppiah off Trego.
Denly finished the day unbeaten on 105 with Dawid Malan on 24.