County Championship: Middlesex on top against Somerset

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport at Taunton
Harry Podmore
Harry Podmore was on loan at Glamorgan from Middlesex earlier this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cooper Associates County Ground, day one
Somerset 236: Rogers 57; Podmore 4-53, Harris 3-67, Fuller 3-72
Middlesex 51-1: Gubbins 31
Middlesex 3pts Somerset 1pt

Middlesex capitalised on a green pitch at Taunton to bowl Somerset out for 236 on day one of their Division One match.

On a surface that was prepared only an hour before play began, Somerset started well, with Chris Rogers' 57 helping them to 115-2.

But as the bowling improved, Somerset lost their last eight wickets for 121, Harry Podmore claiming 4-54 on his Middlesex Championship debut.

The visitors reached 51-1 by the close, with Nick Gubbins unbeaten on 31.

It left Division One leaders Middlesex in the stronger position at the end of a day punctuated by rain delays and dominated by the pitch on which the match is being played.

The contest was set to be played on a used, straw-coloured surface, but Somerset took the late decision to play on one so green it was barely distinguishable from the rest of the square, presumably backing their bowlers over a Middlesex attack without Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh.

Though they were asked to bat without a toss, it was a plan that looked to be working as Rogers and Marcus Trescothick (35) punished some wayward pace bowling in the first hour.

But after Rogers was brilliantly caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper John Simpson off Podmore, Middlesex chipped away, with only James Allenby resisting for a patient 44.

Last-wicket pair Tim Groenewald and Jack Leach added 23 before the latter was wonderfully taken by Ollie Rayner at second slip off James Fuller.

Craig Overton pinned Sam Robson leg before with the second ball of Middlesex's reply, but the home attack were woefully inaccurate after that breakthrough.

Gubbins shared an unbroken stand of 51 with Steve Eskinazi.

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