County Championship: Dean Elgar's unbeaten 77 checks Middlesex progress

Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar has hit one century and three fifties in the Championship so far this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's (day one):
Somerset 161-5: Elgar 77*; Murtagh 2-39
Middlesex: Yet to bat
Middlesex 1 pt; Somerset 0 pts
Match scorecard

Dean Elgar's unbeaten 77 saved Somerset from total collapse against Middlesex on a rain-affected first day at Lord's.

Somerset fell to 20-2 after Marcus Trescothick was caught brilliantly off Toby Roland-Jones and under-fire captain Tom Abell then edged behind off Tim Murtagh for just six.

The visitors slipped to 80-5 before Elgar and Lewis Gregory (27 not out) shared an 81-run sixth-wicket stand.

Rain and bad light saw play end at 15:20 BST, with Somerset 161-5.

Abell's decision to bat after winning the toss did not pay off after Stevie Eskinazi's superb take in the slips got rid of opener Trescothick.

The new Somerset captain followed when wicketkeeper John Simpson collected an edge comfortably behind the stumps and he has now scored just 96 runs in nine innings this season.

A 46-run third-wicket partnership between Elgar and James Hildreth steadied the ship but Ollie Rayner pulled off another spectacular catch at third slip to dismiss the latter off Middlesex skipper James Franklin.

Steven Davies, another batsman badly out of form, and Peter Trego both fell cheaply as the hosts pilled on the pressure, but Elgar continued to resist and Gregory batted positively at the other end in another attempt to rebuild the innings.

However, a the weather meant just 48.4 overs could be bowled with play abandoned for the day just after 18:00 BST.

Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh told BBC Radio London:

"It is a bit like a Lord's pitch of a couple of years ago. There is good carry in it, a bit of nip with the new ball and it also swung, with the humidity in the air.

"We would have batted first too if we had won the toss, but everyone chipped in with the ball and we kept them under pressure.

"Apart from that partnership at the end between Elgar and Gregory. All the bowlers played a part for us."

Somerset opener Dean Elgar told BBC Radio Somerset:

"It's nice to make an impact on the game. It's going well for me over here at the moment. I hope my form continues for the rest of the summer and into the Test series against England.

"The partnership with Lewis Gregory has hopefully given us some momentum. Things would have looked very bleak for us if it had gone the other way.

"The first session in particular was quite challenging but that's what you expect in English conditions and it certainly wasn't unbattable out there - just hard work at times.

"There's a different sort of feeling when you play here at Lord's. You see it even with the older guys in the team who have played on this ground a lot."

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