Middlesex in strong position after Day One against Leicestershire


Leicestershire 149
Middlesex 142-2 (Stoneman 80*)

Middlesex put themselves in a solid opening position on the first day of their match with Leicestershire after skittling the visitors out for 149.

They ended Day One just seven behind with eight wickets in hand.


On a very cloudy morning, Middlesex won the toss and unsuprisingly elected to bowl. The wicket was very close t0 the Tavern Side.

That decision was proven wise in Shaheen Afridi’s third over when he had Hassan Azad caught behind by skipper Peter Handscombe with his first ball and followed it up by clean bowling Leicestershire skipper Colin Ackermann with his next.

Louis Kimber survived the hat trick with a solid forward defensive and even struck the final ball beautifully and somewhat effortlessly for four to long off to deny Afridi a double wicket maiden. A hat trick would have made for some interesting conversation at the next family gathering as his future father-in-law Shahid Alfridi played for Leicestershire for a season in 2001.

The enthusisam of over 2000 school kids from 55 local primaries lit up the atmosphere. They were drawn from  all 17 boroughs in the county of Middleseex.  The fielder down at third man was a very popular player in the morning session!

Afridi then bowled Kimber to reduce the visitors to 32-3, meaning Middlesex had taken their last ten wickets for 101.

Wiann Mulder and Sam Evans had little option but to dig in and progress was very slow for the remainder of the morning session. They had added just nine in the next 8.1 overs when Tom Helm dismissed Mulder with a fantasitc delivery, skipper Handscombe again the catcher.

Toby Roland-Jones joined the wicket jamboree, dismissing the opener Evans, yet again cuaght behind after sticking his bat out lazily at an away swinger. Wicketkeeper Simpson pouched the catch low to bring Leicestershire to 49-5.

At that point, Leicestershire had two fresh batsmen at the crease in Harry Swindells and Ben Mike. Handscombe reintrouced Afridi, who had already taken 3 for 26 in an eventful six overs. There were 20 minutes to lunch and one more wicket would allow him a post lunch crack at the tail.

However, it was the new bowler Ethan Bamber that trapped Swindells LBWwith an absolute peach of a delivery from the Nursery End. Ed Barnes did not emerge from the Pavilion to bat especially quickly. At 55-6 and with 13 minutes till lunch, who could blame him?


16 runs after the interval, Hollman picked up Barnes smartly at third slip. Mike battled on and became Leicestershire’s top scorer easily before being caught at third slip for 19 off Helm, Hollman taking his second catch.

The 100 came in up in the 36th over with eight wickets down, Callum Parkinson hitting the inning’s 13th four to deep square leg.

Bamber bowled Wright for 9 but just as Middlesex thought they might have this wrappd up, the tail wagged. Parkinson (25*) and Beuran Hendricks (22) added 39 for the last wicket.


The home side toiled, initially, faced with good opening bowling from Hendricks and Wright. Just five runs came off the bat on the first seven overs. Frustrated, Stoneman had an almigthy swipe at Wright’s first wayward delivery but it was too wayward to reach.

He had another go at Wright two overs later, missing again. Singles began to flow as each opening bowler reached their fourth over. Off the 55th delivery, Stoneman finally hit the innings’ first boundary. He hit the second off the 56th and neither resembled the hopeful wafts of earlier. With another boundary and an all run four, the score doubled in the 10th over to 32-0.

Thereafter, the openers found their groove by passing 50 in the 13th over. They had scored 42 runs in the last five overs in doing so with the deficit now just 96.

On 60, Barnes delivered a superb inswinger and trapped Robson LBW for 16. This did not derail Stoneman who reached his 50 in 55 balls, amazing givern he scored just two off his first 26 deliveries.

White went with the last ball of the day, caught by Ackermann off Mulder. leaving a deficit of just seven with eight wickets in hand.


  • SD Robson, MD Stoneman, RG White, PSP Handscomb*, MDE Holden, JA Simpson†, LBK Hollman, TS Roland-Jones, TG Helm, SS Afridi, ER Bamber, JM de Caires (12ᵗʰ)
  • MH Azad, ST Evans, CN Ackermann*, LPJ Kimber, PWA Mulder, HJ Swindells†, BWM Mike, E Barnes, CF Parkinson, CJC Wright, BE Hendricks

All Middlesex Cricket

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