Chaminda Vaas gives Northants initiative at Middlesex
|LV County Championship Division Two, Lord's|
|Close, day one: Middlesex 198-6 v Northants|
Chaminda Vaas took three wickets as Division Two leaders Northants seized the initiative on a rain-affected first day against promotion rivals Middlesex.
After rain washed out the morning session, Scott Newman (75) and Chris Rogers (67) guided second-placed Middlesex to 123-1 after being put in.
But after Newman was run out by Alex Wakeley at cover, Vaas struck three times in 14 balls to turn the game.
Rogers then fell just before the close as Middlesex reached stumps on 198-6.
Newman's 75, which came off 115 balls with 11 fours, was his highest score in the Championship this summer but he was run out when he attempted a sharp shingle and was beaten by Wakeley's direct hit.
Vaas then followed it up with a telling spell as he trapped Dawid Malan lbw and had Neil Dexter and Jamie Dalrymple caught behind before visiting captain Andrew Hall vindicated his decision to field when he enticed Rogers to chop the ball into his stumps.
CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARY
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Middlesex were cruising on 123-1 but Scott Newman's needless run out opened the door to a Chaminda Vaas led fightback.
"The Sri Lankan's third spell, and first from the Nursery End, ripped the heart out of the middle order, as he swung the ball back up the slope.
"The last four wickets must put up some resistance for Middlesex or the division's strongest batting line-up will have the opportunity to cash in and post a strong first innings advantage.
"The track has shown some signs of low bounce and turn, so Middlesex will also know that batting last will not be easy for Northants if they can keep the visitors in sight."