Robson and Malan defy Gregory’s guile

Close, day one: Middlesex 283 v Somerset

Sam Robson and Dawid Malan both made half-centuries but Somerset fought back at Northwood thanks to Lewis Gregory’s three late wickets.

Opener Robson (pictured) followed up his 77 not out in the drawn match with Nottinghamshire last week by scoring 67 on the opening day at Merchant Taylor’s School.

Nick Compton, on 18 not out, was forced off just before lunch after being struck on the helmet by a bouncer but Robson and Malan remained unbowed and shared 55 together.

Eoin Morgan’s poor form continued as he made a five-ball duck and James Franklin contributed only 17 as he became the second of five Gregory victims.

Malan’s 69, compiled in almost four hours at the crease, and 31 from Ollie Rayner took Middlesex on to 248-5 but they departed in consecutive overs, either side of the new ball.

Compton returned but could manage to add just 14 more runs to his tally before he was trapped lbw by Gregory, who then had Tim Murtagh caught at slip the very next ball.

The hat-trick eluded Gregory but he removed last man Steven Finn with the first ball of his next over, the last of the day, as Middlesex lost their final three wickets without scoring.


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