Yesterday was overcast gloomy and shortened due to bad light here at Lord’s. Batting wasn’t easy but with application and determination runs could be scored even though the ball was seaming and swinging around corners.
Today…well it’s a funny old game isn’t it? Middlesex managed to scrape 214 together from 146 for 4 overnight, lost both overnight batsmen cheaply but Harris came to the rescue nearly completing his 50 but not quite as Murtagh fell to the second ball of the second new ball.
So a sound performance by Northants but the wheels were about to come off! Wicket to the second ball of the innings before most had settled in to their seats after lunch and then collapsed to 71 ao in just over 90 mins. They saved the follow on (just) but there was no application, no grit, no determination- now where have I seen that before? Admittedly the Middlesex bowling was excellent and the number of play and misses, seaming and a bit of swing was a delight to behold. That man Harris this time taking 5 for 9 in next to no time. Perhaps Middlesex didn’t realise how close they were to having the chance to enforce the follow on but they probably wouldn’t do it anyway as that’s not the modern way and their bowlers probably need a good run out anyway, and all being equal should get that in the second innings.
Middlesex lead by 143 on first innings, 50 overs to be bowled after tea (assuming they complete them by sunset, we haven’t seen one over of spin yet!) so a lead of 300 and two days to play in good weather should be on the cards and sends a message to the rest of the division.
The photo? Bracewell driving Harris or trying to! Could this be my photo of the season and it’s only day 2!
And it gets even stranger! An hour and a half into the Middlesex second innings and they’re 65 for 5 leading by 208. The ball doesn’t seem to be swinging or seaming as much but almost every wrap on the pads sees very quick fingers raised by the umpires! Perhaps they’re out of perfect form as well? So far today I’ve seen 21 wickets fall and another 31 overs to go but the cold is getting the better of me and I’m heading off but one final thought – will the Lord’s pitch be reported to Lord’s as being unsuitable for first class cricket and will Middlesex be penalised when they have no control over the ground? And who dares criticise Lord’s but then it’s a funny old game.