Middlesex v Lancashire: Toby Roland-Jones & Ollie Rayner rescue Middlesex

Toby Roland Jones
Toby Roland-Jones' 53 was his ninth half-century in first-class cricket
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's (day one):
Middlesex 233: Roland-Jones 53, Rayner 52*; Bailey 5-54
Lancashire 113-5: Croft 33*; Roland-Jones 2-30
Lancashire trail by 120 runs
Middlesex 2 pts, Lancashire 3 pts

England paceman Toby Roland-Jones hit a half-century to rescue Middlesex's first innings against Lancashire in an opening day dominated by the bowlers.

Relegation-threatened Middlesex were in the mire at 89-7 before Roland-Jones (53) and Ollie Rayner (52 not out) put on 102 for the eighth wicket at Lord's.

The hosts were eventually all out for 233 with seamer Tom Bailey taking 5-54.

Roland-Jones then pinned opener Haseeb Hameed lbw for three as Lancashire closed on 113-5, trailing by 120.

The 29-year-old also gave his side a late boost, having former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught by Adam Voges at slip for 29.

Middlesex, who lost their 2016 County Championship crown to new champions Essex on Friday, are currently involved in a relegation battle with five other teams in Division One.

At the start of this penultimate round of fixtures they were seventh in the table, level on points with Somerset and a point behind Yorkshire.

They looked like being skittled for less than 150 before Roland-Jones and Rayner's counter-attack, with the pair scoring at five an over and striking 17 boundaries between them.

Steven Finn and Tim Murtagh also hung around with Rayner to take Middlesex past 200 and to what could be a crucial batting bonus point at the end of the season.

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