Nottinghamshire v Middlesex: John Simpson leads visitors' response
|County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Close, day two: Nottinghamshire 278, Middlesex 297-6|
|Middlesex 5pts, Notts 4pts|
John Simpson hit an unbeaten 77 to lead Middlesex's response on day two against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Resuming on 12-0, Sam Robson (76) combined in an opening stand of 106 with Chris Rogers (50), who was trapped leg before by debutant Ajmal Shahzad.
Joe Denly, David Malan and Neil Dexter all fell cheaply before Simpson's knock, which included two sixes.
Luke Fletcher (3-69) took the wicket of Gareth Berg for 43, to leave Middlesex leading by 19 on 297-6 at the close.
Rogers and Robson had given Middlesex an excellent platform in the morning session before Shahzad eventually broke the partnership in the 27th over.
Fletcher trapped Denly in front in the very next over and, when Malan, Dexter and then Robson were all dismissed in the afternoon session to leave the score on 175-5, it looked like Nottinghamshire could earn a first-innings lead.
But Simpson's 77 off 150 balls steadied the ship and, ably supported by Berg to put on 116 for the sixth wicket, gave the visitors an overnight advantage.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Nottinghamshire's Dave Bracegirdle:
"Despite three wickets for Luke Fletcher and two for Ajmal Shahzad on his Nottinghamshire debut, the day clearly belonged to Middlesex.
"Two century stands, one early, one late, put the visitors into a commanding position at the halfway point of the contest, but under normal circumstances this was a day that would not have happened.
"The floodlights were on from before the start until just before six o'clock, when the umpires decided that the light had deteriorated too badly.
"Credit to the ECB, to Nottinghamshire CCC and the local authorities for allowing the lights to shine brightly upon our summer game."
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Middlesex were outstanding with the bat and will feel confident of adding to what is already a useful first-innings lead. Of the half centurions, Chris Rogers was dominant, Sam Robson defiant, while John Simpson has grown into an impressive innings after a nervy start.
"Nottinghamshire did not bowl badly but have come up against a batting line-up that have fired in early season conditions.
"The hosts will hope to wrap things up in the early conditions of day three, but must be wary of the deficit they'll have to knock off, before setting Middlesex a target to win."