County Championship: Haseeb Hameed ends long wait for first-class century

Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hameed
Haseeb Hameed scored 117 runs on Friday - only 48 fewer than he managed in his 17 County Championship innings last season
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord's (day two):
Middlesex 265: Eskinazi 75, Gubbins 55; Bailey 5-67, Anderson 3-41
Lancashire 267-4: Hameed 117, Jones 55*, Jennings 52
Lancashire (5 pts) lead Middlesex (3 pts) by 2 runs

Haseeb Hameed scored a first-class century for the first time in almost three years to put Lancashire in good shape against Middlesex at Lord's.

His 117 and 52 from England opener Keaton Jennings helped Lancashire to 267-4 in reply to the hosts' 265.

Hameed reached his first Championship hundred since August 2016 by pulling Toby Roland-Jones for six.

The 22-year-old shone in three Test outings for England in India in 2016-17 but has struggled badly for form since.

Last summer, he failed to pass 50 in any innings and averaged just 9.70 in 17 innings as Lancashire were relegated from Division One of the County Championship.

But a score of 218 in Lancashire's final warm-up game against Loughborough MCCU signalled a return to form and he continued his impressive start to the season in front of England national selector Ed Smith.

Lancashire wicketkeeper Alex Davies, who injured his hand on the first morning while fielding, has not yet batted and it is possible that he may not feature again in the match.

Earlier on day two, Roland-Jones (35) added 29 for Middlesex's 10th wicket with last man Steven Finn before paceman Tom Bailey (5-67) removed him to complete a five-wicket haul.

Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh told BBC Radio London:

"There wasn't much bounce and carry, it's quite slow. It's as good a wicket as I've seen at the start of the season in terms of batting, so it was hard going.

"We didn't bowl well in that first session and they got off to a flier. We clawed it back a bit in the middle session and then fell away at the end.

"The pitch is not that conducive to quick scoring, but we're going to have to bowl well in the morning and make sure they don't get away from us.

"All in all, it wasn't a great day for us. But we've still got quite a newish ball so hopefully we can nick a couple out."

Lancs and England opener Haseeb Hameed told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"I'm very happy. It was good to get some runs and spend some time in the middle last week and I took the confidence from that. Keatsy played really well and it was good to get that start up top.

"I got a few in the middle early which helped, and I backed myself to go out and perform. It was a good battle with guys like Steven Finn and it was nice to come out of it on the right side.

"I've been lucky enough to play at Lord's a few times now. I've had a 70 and an 89, so I was happy to pass the three-figure mark.

"It's a good wicket and there's everything that comes with playing at Lord's - the history and that kind of stuff - so that makes it even more special."

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