|LV County Championship Division Two, Lord's|
|Close, day two: Middlesex 317 v Northants 188-2|
|Northants 3pts, Middlesex 3pts|
Stephen Peters and Mal Loye shared 158 for the first wicket as Northants made a strong start to their reply against Middlesex at Lord's.
Middlesex began day two on 198-6 and were indebted to 61 from wicketkeeper John Simpson as they were all out for 317, Chaminda Vaas claiming 5-76.
Peters (75) and Loye built a solid platform for Northants before Steven Crook struck twice in seven balls.
But Loye was still unbeaten on 80 at the close, with his side 188-2.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Northants backed up their decision to bowl first as they moved into a strong position on day two.
"Middlesex would have been relieved to reach 317 as John Simpson's fine half-century led the tail from 185-6.
"However the hosts' total looked a little short when the Northants opening pair put on 158 despite Middlesex's best efforts.
"Tim Murtagh and Corey Collymore produced a fine opening spell but couldn't find the breakthrough.
"With the length of Northants' batting line-up, they'll hope to apply a great deal of scoreboard pressure on their title rival's second innings."