County Championship: Chris Read century steers Notts into lead
|LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (close, day three)|
|Middlesex 374 & 7-0|
|Nottinghamshire 419-9 dec: Read 108, B Taylor 77, Mullaney 76, Franklin 3-41|
|Nottinghamshire lead by 38 runs|
|Middlesex 6 pts, Nottinghamshire 6 pts|
Nottinghamshire skipper Chris Read made his second Championship century of the summer to earn his side a first-innings lead against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.
The 36-year-old, dropped on 54, struck 14 fours in his 108 as he and Brett Hutton (72) shared a stand of 157.
Middlesex removed Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney (76) before lunch.
But they had to wait 50 overs before Toby Roland-Jones bowled Read, who later declared on 419-9, with Middlesex facing two overs to be 7-0 at stumps.
With only one day remaining, a draw seems the only likely outcome, barring a dramatic batting collapse. That result will be good enough to lift Middlesex into second place in the Division One table.
Resuming on 180-4, Notts soon lost Patel (14), bowled by Tim Murtagh, who then took the catch to dismiss Mullaney and give Ollie Rayner his first wicket.
Despite the double setback, Hutton provided Read with the support he needed and grew in confidence through the afternoon as he surpassed his highest first-class score of 42.
Read eventually departed after almost four hours at the crease and after Luke Wood (14) edged Dawid Malan's occasional leg-spin to slip, Hutton was then lbw to Rayner just before stumps, prompting the declaration.
Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read:
"It was nice to go on and get three figures and to put on a good partnership with Brett Hutton. I thought he played fantastically well.
"It's also good to see the partnerships are beginning to flow down the order. That's always a good sign.
"I had a five or six week lay off due to injury and you are never quite sure how you are going to translate your form in the nets to runs in the middle. But it has been pleasing."
Middlesex coach Richard Scott:
"The ball didn't do as much today as it did in our first innings. Once the sun came out it was hard work.
"The pitch is easy paced and they managed to build partnership down through the order.
"We were a bit ragged now and then and we did drop a couple of catches. That has probably cost us the deficit. It was a hard day but we will bat well tomorrow."