Somerset v Middlesex: Visitors find going tough at Taunton
|LV= County Championship Division One, Taunton|
|Close, day one: Somerset 266-5 v Middlesex|
|Somerset 2pts, Middlesex 1pt|
Middlesex only managed one point in their fight against relegation on day one against Somerset at Taunton.
Craig Kieswetter hit 69 off 80 balls in his return from severe facial injuries as Somerset reached 266-5 at stumps.
Youngster Tom Abell made exactly 50 before being unluckily run out backing up, and James Hildreth faced 173 deliveries for an unbeaten 70.
Victory at Taunton will ensure Middlesex remain in Division One next season and send Lancashire down.
A draw would also be good enough, providing they earn maximum bowling and batting bonus points from the game.
|Good record at Taunton|
|Middlesex have only lost one of their last 16 Championship away matches against Somerset - winning six, with nine draws.|
The onus was on the Middlesex attack after Chris Rogers won the toss and opted to put Somerset in and Gurjit Sandhu soon sent back Marcus Trescothick, with the help of Sam Robson's gully catch.
Nick Compton then lost his off stump to Tim Murtagh, but the unlucky visitors had to wait until after lunch for their next success when Johann Myburgh (34) edged Toby Roland-Jones to the wicketkeeper.
Abell brought up his half century off 90 balls before being undone when Neil Dexter deflected a shot by Hildreth into the stumps at the bowler's end.
Kieswetter dominated a fifth-wicket partnership of 84, collecting a six and 10 fours, in his first Championship innings since suffering a broken nose and fractured eye socket when he was hit by a ball from David Willey of Northants in July.
But he was bowled by off-spinner Ollie Rayner, leaving Peter Trego (26) to keep Hildreth company in an unbroken stand of 63 to the close.
Somerset batsman Craig Kieswetter:
"I wouldn't be playing again if I didn't still have the ambition to play for England. Being dropped from the one-day side still hurts.
"The World Cup squad will be picked on performances and unfortunately I haven't been able to perform recently. But who knows? If I can get a couple more scores in the final games it may make a difference
"If not, I hope to go and play in the Big Bash in Australia again during the winter."
Middlesex assistant coach Richard Johnson:
"I thought we bowled superbly before lunch and just didn't get any luck.
"Sometimes that is because the bowlers bowl too short or wide on a helpful pitch, but neither of those things applied.
"We applied pressure with maidens, which is something we talk about, and just couldn't find the edge often enough. Tomorrow will hopefully be a different story."
BBC Somerset's Stephen Lamb:
"Somerset may well feel the happier of the two teams after finishing at 266-5, while Middlesex will feel the total is well beyond what they were hoping for at 70-3 and 119-4.
"It was Craig Kieswetter, returning to first team action, who played the key innings at the first opportunity and a hooked six over square leg showed that the injury, sustained when he was hit in the face by a short ball from David Willey, has not deterred him from playing the stroke.
"He has spoken warmly of the support he has received from Somerset staff and supporters as he went through the rehabilitation process. That support was apparent from the extensive applause from the Taunton crowd as he walked off, gratefully acknowledged by Kieswetter himself."
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Middlesex bowled without luck on a two-paced pitch that saw two catches dropped in the slips and a further seven edges not carry to the wicketkeeper or his cordon.
"In defence of those behind the stumps, it was a two-paced track, which immediately caught the eye due to the amount of grass cover on the top, but equally was dry and dusty underneath.
"Tim Murtagh moved the ball around corners once the ball kicked into life after half an hour and Toby Roland-Jones must feel that he can barely buy a wicket having tormented Somerset all day.
"Having survived a working over, there is a real chance for Somerset to pile the pressure on the relegation-threatened visitors as they seem to be on their way to an above-par score for this pitch."