County Championship: Middlesex gain slender first-innings lead over Notts

John Simpson
Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson departed for 27, bowled by Brett Hutton
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge, day two
Nottinghamshire 241 & 24-0: Mullaney 20*
Middlesex 247: Gubbins 75; Ball 5-66, Hutton 3-54
Notts (4 pts) lead Middlesex (4 pts) by 18 runs

Division One leaders Middlesex gained a narrow first-innings lead of six runs over bottom side Nottinghamshire in an intriguing contest at Trent Bridge.

Jake Ball took 5-66 as the visitors were bowled out for 247, before Notts reached 24-0 at the close on day two.

Ball's hat-trick late on day one had left Middlesex 0-3 in the first over of their reply to Notts' 241 all out.

Nick Gubbins made a patient 75 from 226 balls as Middlesex scored just 149 runs in the first two sessions.

Captain James Franklin (40) and the rest of the batting line-up were similarly watchful following the carnage at the start of their innings, but it was down to last-wicket pair of Tim Murtagh and Steven Finn to guide them to a slender advantage.

Ball had to wait until after tea for his first wicket of day two, having Franklin caught at third man, before he caught and bowled Toby Roland-Jones to complete his second five-wicket haul in the Championship this season.

Notts openers Steven Mullaney and Jake Libby added some handy runs at a quick rate in the final five overs of the day and, crucially, negotiated them without loss.

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