County Championship: Chris Read hits unbeaten century off 76 balls

Chris Read
Chris Read scored 163 runs without being dismissed in the match against Middlesex
LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's (day three)
Nottinghamshire 298 & 401-8 dec Read 101 not out, Taylor 61, Murtagh 3-69
Middlesex 181 & 57-1: Compton 37 not out
Middlesex trail by 462 runs
Notts 5pts, Middlesex 3pts
Match scorecard

Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read smashed an unbeaten century to put his side in control against Middlesex on the third day at Lord's.

Read's 101 not out off 77 balls and James Taylor's 61 helped the hosts reach 401-8 declared - a lead of 519.

Jake Ball removed opener Sam Robson for a duck, but Nick Gubbins (13no) and Nick Compton (37no) steadied the ship.

The visitors closed on 57-1, 462 behind, with Notts needing nine wickets on the final day to secure victory.

Resuming on 101-2, Notts batsmen Alex Hales (37) and Will Gidman saw out the first hour before both fell in quick succession.

Samit Patel (33) and James Taylor put on 69 for the fifth wicket to regain control, before Read's fireworks gave the home team a commanding lead.

Jake Ball
Notts pace bowler Jake Ball removed Sam Robson for a duck with the third ball of Middlesex's second innnings

The 36-year-old hit 14 fours and two sixes as he brought up his century from just 76 balls shortly after tea.

Read then declared at the end of the over, leaving Middlesex needing to bat out almost four sessions to avoid defeat.

Seam bowler Ball trapped Robson lbw with the third ball of the innings, but Gubbins and Compton's assured knocks gave the visitors a chance of salvaging a draw on the final day.

Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read:

"It wasn't quite what I was expecting at tea. The plan was to come out, play positively and see where we could get to but the innings kind of snowballed.

"Vernon (Philander) kept giving me the strike and I managed to get a few boundaries away. Before I knew it I had 88 on the board and he said 'you only need 12 so you may as well hang around for another over or two and see what you can do'.

"Apart from anything else we've put ourselves in a very good position. We've had a good three days but there's still a lot of work to do tomorrow. The first hour will be crucial."

Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh:

"It was a tough old day out there and I thought we stuck at it fairly well but obviously Chris Read came out and took the game away from us.

"We know we're up against it but we've got a few players who can bat a long time and hopefully we can keep them out in the field and see where it takes us."