England discard Steven Finn strikes on Middlesex return

LV= County Championship - Division Two, Lord's
Close of play, day one: Derbyshire 252, Middlesex 105-0
Middlesex 3pts, Derbyshire 2pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
LV County Championship

Steven Finn made light of the 120-mile drive back down the M1 from Nottingham to take a wicket with his third ball as Derbyshire were dismissed for 252.

Finn finished with 3-52, backing up Tim Murtagh (4-45) and spinner Tom Smith's 3-38 on the opening day at Lord's.

In reply, Scott Newman (51no) and Sam Robson (48no) remained unparted as Middlesex closed on 105 without loss.

Finn had driven up to Trent Bridge on Thursday night to act as cover for the second Test between England and India.

But, having lost the selection head-to-head to Tim Bresnan, he hopped back in his Jaguar for the two-hour return trek to St John's Wood and made an immediate impact.

By the time the 6ft 8ins paceman ran onto the field just before lunch, Derbyshire were already mounting a spirited recovery from a dreadful opening half-hour.

Derbyshire had elected to bat first after winning the toss just before the delayed noon start.

But the visitors then slipped to 14-3 in the face of an excellent new-ball burst from Murtagh, fresh from the second 10-wicket match haul of his career against Surrey last week.

Wes Durston (61) then helped repair the damage in a fourth-wicket stand of 114 with Greg Smith (57) but Finn brought an end to that.

His arrival having been received with a round of applause from appreciative Middlesex members, his extra pace and fuller length trapped Durston leg before.

After Smith had succumbed to Murtagh's off-cutter and Finn had rushed one through the back-foot defence of Luke Sutton to make it 166-6, there was a danger that Derbyshire would fail to post a single batting point.

But the in-form Ross Whiteley refused to lie down and his two-hour stay for 56 helped earn two points.


BBC Radio London's Kevin Hand:

"With Steve Finn driving back from Trent Bridge, Middlesex would have been desperate to win the toss but they fought back admirably, Tim Murtagh bowling beautifully to take a wicket in each of his opening three overs.

"The same pitch was used for the CB40 match the night before and showed signs of turn, which Tom Smith made the most of from the Nursery End.

"Batting last on this pitch should be tough but Middlesex's openers have provided a wonderful foundation."

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