County Championship: Middlesex build lead after Westwood run-out sours day
Last updated on .From the section Counties
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Edgbaston, day two|
|Middlesex 242: Malan 57; Poysden 5-53, Wright 4-41 & 63-0: Gubbins 41*|
|Warwickshire 172: Westwood 81; Rayner 5-49|
|Middlesex (4 pts) lead Warwickshire (3 pts) by 133 runs|
County Championship leaders Middlesex ended the second day at Edgbaston in control against Warwickshire following an alarming collapse by the Bears.
Chasing Middlesex's first-day score of 242, the hosts were on 122-2, only to fold badly after the controversial run-out of opener Ian Westwood for 81.
The Bears lost their last eight wickets for 50 to be bowled out for 172, spinner Ollie Rayner taking 5-49.
Nick Gubbins (41 not out) and Sam Robson helped Middlesex close on 63-0.
That increased Middlesex's lead to 133 on a day overshadowed by the much-debated decision over the key wicket of Westwood.
After a dismal start to the campaign, in which he made just 15 runs in the Bears' six matches, Westwood has looked in much better touch following his recall in August.
By mid-afternoon, he was just 19 runs short of repeating the ton he made against Durham in Warwickshire's previous match when was called for a needless single by captain Ian Bell.
Westwood was unable to regain his ground, twice being accidentally impeded by prostrate bowler Raynor, who had fallen over trying to field the ball - and was run out after a direct hit from Toby Roland-Jones.
Umpires David Millns and Martin Saggers then had a lengthy conversation with Middlesex captain James Franklin, who had the option of withdrawing the appeal, but he opted to stick with it.
Following Westwood's exit, the last seven wickets then fell to the spin of Rayner and Ravi Patel (2-54) as Middlesex showed the fighting qualities of potential winners as they battle with reigning champions Yorkshire for the title.
Warwickshire batsman Ian Westwood told BBC WM:
"'Belly' and I had a good partnership going so it was a shame it had to end that way. Ollie didn't deliberately get in my way. He dived in front of me and we had a tangle.
"That made 'Belly' think twice about his run and by that time Ollie was lying in front of me and it was impossible to get back. In my opinion, that caused the run-out so it's disappointing.
"I don't really know the rules. The Spirit of the Game gets banded about a lot. Cricket has a lot of grey areas and I suppose that's another one. It was just a disappointing dismissal. It's up to everyone else to make their minds up, I suppose.
"We are obviously disappointed with the way it then went. We lost too many wickets and couldn't halt their momentum. We now have to fight like crazy to try to dig ourselves out of this hole."
Middlesex spinner Ollie Rayner told BBC Radio London:
"The ball was hit back at me and I tried to stop it, then they had a mix-up, but it was a legitimate run out, as far as I concerned.
"After that we still had to bowl in good areas. We bowled well on a pitch that's given us some help. Now hopefully we can push on with the bat.
"We don't want to be thinking too far ahead. We are in a great position but Yorkshire are a formidable side who have done it in the past so they know what they are doing."