How to stop the runs?

I thought it would be ‘one of those days’ when I heard that Heinz announced that they’ll be selling their ketchup in paper bottles (need to check it’s not April) and to grey overcast Lord’s conditions. Ideal for bowling!

And so it proved…Mullaney went first ball for 92. From the Pavilion roof it looked like the ball held its line, whilst he was expecting it to move down the slope? Or vice versa? Anyway…first strike to the Middle.

One of the delights of a day at the cricket is the opportunity to ‘people watch’ so this bulging pocket of a spectator in front of me intrigued me. Perhaps he knew the Middle would need to plug the runs!

TRJ having bowled so well yesterday for no reward then ripped out another three in next to no time but after a spell lasting 80 mins it was time for a rest. The overcast sky giving way to clouds and increasing sunny periods.

TRJ has been unlucky with injuries during his career and who knows how well he would have been for England? We shall never know. He has the air and gait of a Victorian ploughman trudging his weary way home as he walks to his mark but turns and changes in an instant to a fine fast-ish bowler.

Notts are eventually all out for 415 on the stroke of lunch as the sun bursts through. The last pair made 63! Fletcher 50 before giving Simpson his 6th catch but TRJ was clearly the best of bowlers.

But with Afridi back in Pakistan, stopping the runs will be a challenge for the Middle going forward. Perhaps my fellow spectator should call by the Middlesex dressing room?

How will the Middle fare? Probably better now that the sun’s out and it’s getting better to bat on but…

And exactly that…it’s a different game when the sun’s out; bordering on straightforward batting. Robson goes cheaply misjudging the new ball and de Caires magnificently run out for 5 puts the Middle at 27/2 early on but Stoneman and Handscomb dig in, see off the shine and at tea are 91/2.

Robson gets everything behind this one!

Broad is loosening up for his (assumed) next appearance here at the start of June and is still a fine bowler but he needs to let his bowling do the talking and leave the histrionics to others…it does his ‘image’ little good.

Broad – doing what he does best
Realising there’s no DRS!
Perhaps one of the last few times I’ll see him in action?
Again…more frustration!
Robson avoids this bouncer from Pattinson
De Caires doesn’t look so assured!
Pattinson in full flow

This round of matches look like heading for high scoring draws – 500 plus in the first dig seems to be the standard. And yes, we’re never satisfied but the balance between bat and ball needs to be restored if the ‘red ball reset’ is to have any chance. Can you see Australia or India or anyone else preparing flat tracks for tests? If you can, please go and lie down until you feel better!

In the blink of an eye after tea, Stoneman walks back to the Pavilion dismissed and the floodgates open – not in terms of runs, they flowed to a degree but wickets. Middlesex are dismissed just before the close for 195 and Nottinghamshire do not enforce the follow on with a lead of 220; extended to 226 in the one remaining over.

There’s only one way this match is going. Middlesex need to stop the runs tomorrow but attack the wickets and get among the runs themselves but Nottinghamshire seem to have the upper hand with the runs!

Who says no one watches the Championship? Grandstand almost as full as a Test!

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