|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's (day one):|
|Middlesex 255-1: Robson 144*, Gubbins 101; Beard 1-51|
|Essex: Yet to bat|
|Middlesex 2 pts; Essex 0 pts|
Openers Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins hit centuries as county champions Middlesex made the Essex bowlers toil at Lord's.
Robson (144 not out) and Gubbins (101) shared a 241-run first-wicket stand after an uncontested toss saw the hosts bat first in overcast conditions.
Seamers Jamie Porter and Neil Wagner struggled with the ball, as Robson reached his hundred off 140 balls.
Aaron Beard had Gubbins caught behind on the stroke of tea but bad light saw play end early with Middlesex 255-1.
Under seemingly good bowling conditions, Robson and Gubbins batted flawlessly, as Essex's pace bowlers failed to make the ball swing.
Visiting captain Ryan ten Doeschate turned to spinner Simon Harmer after just nine overs but the move failed to disrupt the batsmen as they ploughed on untroubled.
Robson reached three figures as he edged Ravi Bopara through the vacant second slip position, hitting his 19th four in the process.
The opening stand passed 200 from just 51 overs and Gubbins reached his own milestone off 192 balls before the 23-year-old played back and was caught off an outside edge.
Just a further 24 balls were possible after tea as bad light brought about a premature end with Middlesex firmly in control.