County Championship: Leicestershire's Colin Ackermann passes 150 v Middlesex

Colin Ackermann
Colin Ackermann hit 21 boundaries, including a six, during more than six hours in the middle
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Fischer County Ground (day one):
Leicestershire 353-8: Ackermann 151*, Dexter 66; Murtagh 5-52
Middlesex: Yet to bat
Leicestershire 4 pts v Middlesex 2 pts

Colin Ackermann's unbeaten 151 helped Leicestershire take control on day one but Middlesex's Tim Murtagh's five wickets limited the hosts' total.

Neil Dexter added 66, as he and Ackermann put on 129 for the third wicket, before Dexter was caught behind off the bowling of the in-form Murtagh.

At the close, the hosts were 353-8 with Ackermann and Gavin Griffiths (18*) securing a fourth batting bonus point.

But six of the hosts' batsmen were dismissed for less than 20.

That was largely thanks to the economical bowling of Murtagh (5-52), who also took the wickets of Leicestershire's Zak Chappell, Callum Parkinson, wicketkeeper Lewis Hill and captain Paul Horton.

Steven Finn (1-77) dismissed opener Harry Dearden as the hosts initially slumped to 25-2, before Ackermann's lengthy stay at the crease.

Leicestershire, in third, are bidding for their third win in six games, while Middlesex are aiming for their second league victory since being relegated in 2017.

Leicestershire batsman Colin Ackermann told BBC Radio Leicester:

"We were looking for 350, because the wicket did do a bit. It offered a bit of assistance, especially up front, so we're pleased with where we are.

"I have a slight problem with a bone in a finger in my right hand, which is why I'm batting with a bit of extra protection on it, but in a way it's been good for me, because it makes me focus on using my top hand more than usual - it seems to be working for me at any rate!

"Neil Dexter showed his experience in a very valuable innings, and then Ben Raine, Zak Chappell and Gavin Griffiths played really useful cameos."

Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh told BBC Radio London:

"I'm happy on a personal basis I managed to find a good rhythm and pick up those wickets. But we're a bit disappointed they managed to get away from us in the final session.

"I've been playing second team cricket the last three weeks and that's given me a bit of an advantage compared to some of the others. It kept me going in the longer format.

"It was a used wicket, the odd ball kept a bit low and we'll probably see a bit more of that as the game goes on. We probably gifted them 50 runs in boundary balls, and if we'd knocked them over for 300 we'd have been pretty happy with that."

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