Middlesex battle back
Middlesex 149 for 2 v Northamptonshire 276
Middlesex hit back strongly on the second day of their top-of-the-table clash in Division Two of the County Championship against Northamptonshire, despite Rob Newton's century for the hosts. Newton made 113 off 199 balls including 12 fours as league leaders Northants were bowled out for 276 with former West Indies paceman Corey Collymore taking 3 for 55.
Scott Newman then crashed 95 off just 114 balls with 18 fours in reply for Middlesex, who ended the day on 149 for 2, 127 runs behind their opponents.
Northants began the day on 145 for 3 after a rain-affected first day, with opener Newton resuming on 66 and David Sales on 26. Sales, however, was unable to add to his overnight total before he edged a superb ball by Collymore to Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson in the second over of the day.
Northants captain Andrew Hall was to make 16 before he was comfortably caught by Dawid Malan at first slip off Toby Roland-Jones. Tim Murtagh then trapped James Middlebrook lbw for six but Newton hung around to complete the second ton of his career off 177 balls with a single off Ollie Rayner.
The 21-year-old then went past his previous best score of 102, made against Leicestershire in the final game of last season, as Northants reached lunch on 226 for 6. But he threw his wicket away with the first ball he faced after the interval when he wildly slashed Steven Crook's wide delivery to Simpson.
It was now slow going for the hosts and they lost Chaminda Vaas for 10 when he dragged Collymore on to his stumps before Roland-Jones pinned David Lucas (8) lbw. Collymore then wrapped up the innings by taking out the off stump of Lee Daggett, who went for a golden duck, leaving wicketkeeper David Murphy unbeaten on 42 and giving Middlesex the full set of bowling bonus points.
Newman, who scored a century in the second innings of this fixture last season, went past 50 off 68 balls with a four through third man off Lucas as the visitors began their reply in style. But he fell five runs short of a century when he was caught behind by Murphy off the bowling of Middlebrook to end an opening stand of 143.
Sam Robson then fell cheaply for 37 in the following over when he smashed Vaas to Middlebrook at gully. Nightwatchman Roland-Jones and captain Chris Rogers survived the last five overs and will both resume tomorrow on three.