County Championship: James Franklin ton rescues Middlesex

James Franklin
James Franklin's 135 gave him his second County Championship century of the season for Middlesex
LV= County Championship Division One, Uxbridge (day one)
Middlesex 289-7: Franklin 135, Burns 51, Shantry 4-60
Worcestershire: Yet to bat
Middlesex 2 pts, Worcestershire 2 pts
Match scorecard

James Franklin hit a century to rescue Middlesex on the first day against Worcestershire at Uxbridge.

The former New Zealand all-rounder made 135 from 255 deliveries to lift his side from 51-4 to 289-7 at stumps.

Three wickets from Worcestershire's Jack Shantry had helped put his side on top, before Franklin and Joe Burns (51) steadied the home team's innings.

Left-armer Shantry (4-60) then finally removed Franklin with what then proved to be the last ball of the day.

Without an away win in the County Championship this season, Worcestershire got off to a great start when Robson edged the first ball of the match from Charlie Morris to Tom Fell at third slip.

Worcestershire's away day blues
Worcestershire's last County Championship away win was last summer's eight-wicket Division Two win against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham College, in July 2014.

Nick Compton swiftly followed Robson back to the pavilion, before Shantry struck twice to remove Nick Gubbins and Paul Stirling.

After Burns became Shantry's third victim at 102-5, Franklin finally brought up his first fifty from 122 deliveries before accelerating to reach his century in almost half the time.

Having taken the new ball, Worcestershire handed Franklin a reprieve when he was dropped by Morris at long leg off Joe Leach on 120.

But Morris atoned for that mistake by getting Simpson to edge to second slip and Shantry then made a crucial late breakthrough when, after nearly five hours at the crease, Franklin picked out Fell at leg slip.

Middlesex all-rounder James Franklin:

"I am really annoyed at getting out - I'm filthy at myself for doing that in the last over of the day.

"If we had got through at just six wickets down then I would have been able to start again in the morning.

"But, from 51-4, to get to where we are now has made it a reasonable fightback so, from the team's point of view, it's been a reasonably satisfying day."

Worcestershire bowler Jack Shantry:

"From 102-5 we would have liked to have bowled them out within the day, but James Franklin in particular batted very well and they are entitled to do that.

"It is a new ball pitch. The grass on it means the new ball goes through a bit and there was some cloud cover in the morning.

"We need to knock over their last three wickets as quickly as possible and then hopefully we can give our batsmen the chance to bat in the best conditions of the match."

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