County Championship round-up: Robson and Stoneman set Middlesex record, Essex stay on top

Middlesex opener Sam Robson
Sam Robson's century for Middlesex was his 26th in first-class cricket

Sam Robson and Mark Stoneman set a new Middlesex first-wicket record with a stand of 376 on day one of their Division Three game against Sussex.

Stoneman fell for 174 but Robson was 192 not out in Middlesex's 400-2.

In Division Two, Paul Walter made 96 in Essex's 276 all out, a lead of 200 over Gloucestershire, who closed on 132-5.

Durham piled up 503-8 declared against Glamorgan, who replied with 71-2 in their second innings, still 335 behind, while Surrey lead Northants by 183.

David Bedingham resumed on 44 not out for Durham at the Riverside, poised to become the first batsmen to 1,000 Championship runs this season.

But the South African added only three to his score before being bowled by Michael Hogan to leave him with eight more still needed to reach the milestone.

It was only a temporary boost for Glamorgan, however, as Ben Raine made 74, Ned Eckersley 57 and Liam Trevaskis an unbeaten 55 as every Durham batsman reached double figures.

The Welsh county had 24 overs to survive before the close and soon lost David Lloyd and Nick Selman, but Hamish Rutherford (32 not out) and new recruit Eddie Byrom (17 not out) prevented any further damage.

Essex batsman Paul Walter made 96
Paul Walter's 96 for Essex was his fourth half-century in the Championship this summer

At Chelmsford, Walter hit 15 fours in his 241-ball innings for Essex, but with a century in sight he played a loose drive at a ball from David Payne and Tom Lace took a slip catch at the second attempt.

Walter put on 75 with Simon Harmer, who made 45, but Gloucestershire offered much sterner resistance than they had in their first innings when it was their turn to bat again.

Ben Charlesworth, recently rewarded with a new contract, made 49 and James Bracey reached 50 off 118 balls before edging to slip, and Essex took two more before the close, with Ollie Price run out by Josh Rymell's direct hit.

Also in Division Two, a shortage of match officials meant Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart and Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley both spent time as square leg umpire before replacement Martin Saggers finally arrived at the ground.

Rikki Clarke ripped out the Northants middle order with 3-43 as they were all out for 171 in 58.5 overs, giving Surrey a first-innings lead of 81, which they more than doubled in reaching 102-4 at the close.

They were 75-4 when Jamie Smith was lbw to Simon Kerrigan, but Hashim Amla (26*) and Will Jacks (20*) survived and will resume on the third morning.

Division Three

Stoneman did not make the best of starts for Middlesex after joining them from Surrey as he was dismissed for a pair in last week's game against Derbyshire.

Different week, different story as he and Robson - both former England openers - totally dominated a youthful Sussex side to break the first-wicket record for the county, previously held by Mike Gatting and Justin Langer, who put on 372 against Essex at Southgate in 1998.

Stoneman's century took 149 balls, 12 fewer than Robson, and he hit two sixes and 20 fours before Henry Crocombe found enough movement to take the inside edge and wicketkeeper Oli Carter took the catch.

"To be honest after last week, I was just glad to get off the mark. Hove is a ground where if there is some width on offer you can score quite quickly and all in all it was a very good day's work for us," he said.

Robson moved past 900 runs for the season with 23 boundaries as he carried his bat through the entire day.

"The sun was out and the conditions for batting were great and once we got through the new ball we just egged each other on really, batting doesn't get much better than that," the right-hander said.

Middlesex's record partnership for any wicket is an unbroken 424 for the third by Bill Edrich and Denis Compton against Somerset in 1948.

Elsewhere, it was another good day for Kent at Canterbury as they made 393 in their first innings, with Jack Leaning dismissed by Dillon Pennington (4-80) for 97 after adding 75 with Ollie Robinson (50) and 103 with Darren Stevens (66).

Sam Billings weighed in with a six and 12 fours in his 72 and Worcestershire were 91-6 at stumps, needing another 169 to avoid an innings defeat.

Like Durham's Bedingham, Jake Libby also had a chance to reach 1,000 runs, but he was lbw to Grant Stewart for 23 with his overall total on 976.

Derbyshire's bowlers toiled as Leicestershire's Lewis Hill, 86 not out overnight, went on to make 113 with the help of 11 boundaries and Chris Wright hit a career-best 87 as they piled up 528 all out.

Ben Aitchison, Matt Critchley and Alex Thomson each took three wickets for Derbyshire, but Harry Swindells hit 76 to help push the Leicestershire score beyond 500.

Derbyshire, the only team yet to win a Championship match this summer, replied with 41-3 from 20 overs, with two of the wickets taken by Will Davis - including batsman Wayne Madsen, playing for the first time since suffering an injury in June.

The other was taken by seamer Wright, the 500th of his first-class career that has also included spells with Middlesex, Essex and Warwickshire.

Chris Wright
Chris Wright had Derbyshire's Tom Wood caught behind for his 500th first-class wicket

Day Two scoreboards

Division Two

Chelmsford: Gloucestershire 76 & 132-5 (Bracey 50, Charlesworth 49) v Essex 276 (Walter 96, Payne 3-71, Gohar 3-77)

Chester-le-Street: Glamorgan 97 & 71-2 (Rutherford 32*) v Durham 503-8 dec (Jones 81, Raine 74, Trevaskis 55*)

Northampton: Surrey 252 & 102-4 (Amla 26*, Jacks 20*) v Northamptonshire 171 (Clarke 3-34)

Division Three

Canterbury: Worcestershire 133 & 91-6 v Kent 393 (Leaning 97, Billings 72; Pennington 4-80, Baker 3-76)

Derby: Leicestershire 282-3 (Hill113, Evans 88, Wright 87, Swindells 76) v Derbyshire 41-3

Hove (day one): Middlesex 400-2 (Robson 192no, Stoneman 174) v Sussex

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