Cockbain century helps Gloucestershire recover

LV County Championship Division Two, Uxbridge
Close of play, day one: Gloucestershire 368-7
Gloucestershire 4pts, Middlesex 2pts
Match scorecard
Ian Cockbain
Cockbain was making only his eighth County Championship appearance

Ian Cockbain led the way with a maiden first-class century at Uxbridge as Gloucestershire piled up the runs on the first day against Middlesex.

Cockbain was still there at the close on 103 after helping his side recover from 183-5 to 368-7.

But he was the beneficiary of two drops by England skipper Andrew Strauss, who put him down at slip on eight.

Strauss also dropped Chris Dent (61), when he was on 26, while Will Gidman and Chris Taylor both made 52.

Gloucestershire would have been 75-3 if Strauss had held a regulation edge offered by Dent off Tim Murtagh, but it was the Cockbain drop which proved most expensive for Middlesex.

Strauss could not hold a thick edge diving to his right, as Cockbain tried to drive a ball from Neil Dexter, and the 24-year-old batsman - only playing because of an injury to Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman - then flourished in a sixth-wicket partnership of 112 in 27 overs with Will Gidman.

Cockbain reached his ton in in the penultimate over when the former MCC Young Cricketer, who also hit a six, steered Gloucestershire old boy Anthony Ireland through the slips for his 13th four.

CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY

BBC Radio London 94.9's Kevin Hand:

"It was a mixed first day as the batsman had to battle as hard for their runs as the bowlers did for their wickets.

"Ian Cockbain's patience won through in the end after a sticky start to wrestle his team back from 183-5.

"Uxbridge is usually seen as a track for batsman to cash in on and Middlesex will certainly hope that Andrew Strauss and Chris Rogers, returning from injury, will lead the way at the top of the order to a very big first innings total."

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