County Championship: Sam Robson century for Middlesex makes Bears suffer at Lord's
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's|
|Middlesex v Warwickshire, day one|
|Middlesex 317-4: Robson 175*, Gubbins 68, Simpson 31*|
|Warwickshire: Yet to bat|
|Middlesex 3 pts, Warwickshire 1 pt|
Middlesex opener Sam Robson became the latest England contender to stake his claim for a Test recall with an excellent unbeaten century at Lord's against Ian Bell's Warwickshire.
Robson ended the day on 175 out of 317-4, a large share of it coming in a 180-run opening stand with Nick Gubbins.
Chris Wright then came on to claim the wickets of Gubbins (68) and Nick Compton in successive balls.
But John Simpson and Robson helped restore Middlesex's domination.
After Keith Barker had whittled out two more wickets, including home captain Adam Voges, to leave the hosts on 263-4, wicketkeeper Simpson (31) has so far helped put on 54 with the redoubtable Robson.
Middlesex have not beaten Warwickshire in 19 meetings since June 2001 - and the Bears' away record against them is even better, having not lost in 16 trips to the north side of the capital since losing at Uxbridge in 1988. But the hosts can now a feel bit more hopeful of their chances of ending that miserable record.
It was the second Sunday running that Bears captain Bell had invited the home team to bat without a toss taking place - but Warwickshire's attack did not match the success they had a week ago against Hampshire at Southampton.
Missing the injured Chris Woakes (knee) and Boyd Rankin (side), they went wicketless in the first session - in contrast to a week earlier when Hampshire were seven down by lunch.
Instead, Australia-born Robson cut and drove beautifully to look far more the player England had in mind when they gave him the first of his seven Test caps two summers ago.
On the first day of the Lord's cricketing summer, he punished too many loose balls on a sluggish surface to reach his first hundred since May 2015.
Middlesex centurion Sam Robson told BBC London 94.9:
"We were going to bowl too. It was still tough work but, once you were in and playing the ball on merit, you just put the bad ball away.
"It was a very pleasing day. I felt good. The sun was out and, when you get sent in, you want to try to get off to a good start and get to lunch.
"To kick on was very satisfying and we are in a great position. I'm in a good place and it's great to start well.
"I've been expecting to bat first for four months. I've worked on a few little things with my game."
Warwickshire captain Ian Bell told BBC WM 95.6:
"We didn't bowl well this morning. To go for 130 in the session wasn't us at our best. But for the next two sessions we've gone for about 80-90.
"It was a tough decision. I probably would have tossed in hindsight but that's a wonderful thing. You get here and there's been ice and rain over the last two days.
"We just didn't know. And, when your gut doesn't know, the best option is probably to bowl. But Robbo played fantastically well, to score 170 out of 300.
"It was disappointing to lose Boyd this morning. He would have played. That was frustrating, but it's a test of our squad. Fingers crossed Woakesie will be fit to face Yorkshire.