Nottinghamshire v Middlesex: Hales & Patel lead fightback
LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge
Close, day two: Middlesex 505 v Nottinghamshire 258-4
Middlesex 6 pts, Nottinghamshire 4pts
Middlesex's Eoin Morgan narrowly missed out on a double century before Alex Hales led a strong Notts reply on the second day at Trent Bridge.
Morgan fell to Luke Fletcher for 191 as Middlesex were all out for 505, adding 88 to their overnight 417-5.
Notts lost Phil Jaques early, but Michael Lumb (47) and Hales added 102 for the second wicket.
Hales made 96 before he was lbw to Tim Murtagh, but Samit Patel was unbeaten on 75 as Notts closed on 258-4.
Patel is the Championship's leading scorer and another assured innings, including 13 fours, carried his seasonal total past 750 runs.
But it was Hales who set the positive tone for their reply, collecting a six and 16 boundaries in his 110-ball innings, a continuation of the form he showed in his 167 against Sussex earlier this month.
At the start of play, all eyes were on Morgan, who was unbeaten on 174, but he found himself restricted by tight bowling and after losing Paul Stirling (31) and Toby Roland-Jones (18), he eventually perished after batting for over six hours in total and hitting two sixes and 29 fours.
Murtagh made 28 not out to see the total past 500, but ran out of partners when Fletcher (3-122) dismissed last man Ravi Patel.
Alex Hales disappointment at missing out his second century of the summer was tangible as he trooped off for 96.
The right-hander, who has had such a lean time of things in red ball cricket recently, delighted his home supporters with an imperious knock.
Together with another high-quality performance from Samit Patel, Notts have responded magnificently and will hope to ensure the follow-on is comfortably saved on the third morning.
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"Alex Hales' disappointment at missing out his second century of the summer was tangible as he trooped off for 96.
"The right-hander, who has had such a lean time of things in red ball cricket recently, delighted his home supporters with an imperious knock.
"Together with another high-quality performance from Samit Patel, Notts have responded magnificently and will hope to ensure the follow-on is comfortably saved on the third morning."
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Middlesex will be mightily pleased with their effort on the second day although Nottinghamshire have kept their heads above water with a defiant response to the dominance of the bat on the first day.
"Eoin Morgan gave the Test selectors another nudge with his highest Championship score, and made the hosts pay for dropping him in consecutive deliveries on the first morning, while Paul Stirling, Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh all produced cameos to push the score on.
"Alex Hales, who was faultless for his 96, deserved to reach three figures.
"Neil Dexter helped to bring some control to the scoring rate, which helped to build pressure, and the removal of those two batsman and James Taylor put the pressure back on the hosts. However, Samit Patel classily built his innings and he will be the key wicket with the second new ball available seven overs into the third day."