Middlesex duo flog Surrey attack

LV County Championship Division Two, Lord's
Close of play, day one: Middlesex 368-5 v Surrey
Middlesex 4pts, Surrey 1pt
Match scorecard
Live commentary

Neil Dexter and John Simpson shared a fifth-wicket stand of 254 to put Middlesex in charge of Surrey on day one at Lord's.

After Surrey won the toss, Yasir Arafat struck three times to help reduce the home side to 88-4.

But, from there, captain Dexter (145) and wicketkeeper Simpson (126 not out) put the visitors to the sword.

Dexter fell to Chris Jordan, leaving Ollie Rayner to accompany Simpson to the close with Middlesex 368-5.

It was early swing that helped bring Arafat his three scalps.

Scott Newman was pinned lbw and Chris Rogers was clean bowled before Dan Housego edged to third slip.

When Dawid Malan fell lbw to Gareth Batty the hosts were in the mire, but Dexter and Simpson combined to bat through the afternoon session and long into the evening.

Dexter was one short of equalling his highest first-class score when he miscued a pull to mid-off, but Simpson has already posted a personal best.


BBC London's Kevin Hand:

"A great start from Yasir Arafat, but it wasn't followed up by the other Surrey bowlers. Their length was too short and there wasn't enough probing of the off stump.

"A great deal of credit has to go to Neil Dexter and John Simpson. With a lengthy tail following them, the pair dug in and then dominated the Surrey attack.

"The Middlesex bowlers should fancy their chances of applying serious pressure on the second day on a pitch that will offer assistance with the new ball."

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