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August 29, 2012
Middlesex 49 for 0 trail Worcestershire 323 (Mitchell 133*, Kervezee 55, Roland-Jones 5-72) by 274 runs
Middlesex made a positive start to their reply to relegation-threatened Worcestershire's 323 in the rain-ravaged Division One match at New Road.
At stumps they were 49 without loss after 13 overs on a frustrating day when persistent heavy rain during the morning, plus further outbreaks after lunch, meant play was unable to start until 4.30pm following extensive mopping-up operations.
Worcestershire resumed in front of a handful of spectators on 295 for 8 off 96 overs. Captain Daryl Mitchell, unbeaten with 129 overnight, and Chris Russell, on 8, quickly pushed the hosts on to 300 to enable them to pick up a valuable third bonus point.
Russell moved on to 14 before he fell victim to a smart catch at first slip by Dawid Malan off paceman Toby Roland-Jones, who finished with 5 for 72. Last man Alan Richardson chipped in with 18 before he was bowled by Tim Murtagh to leave opener Mitchell unbeaten on 133 with 13 fours off 323 balls.
It is the second time the 28-year-old has carried his bat for Worcestershire having scored 70 not out against Sussex at Hove in 2007. Earlier this month Mitchell's team-mate Phil Hughes also carried his bat in the fixture against Warwickshire at Edgbaston when he scored 135 not out.
Mitchell's century - his third in first-class cricket at New Road - allowed his side to top 300 in the first innings of a Championship match for only the second time this season.
Middlesex launched their innings against pacemen Richardson and Russell with opener Chris Rogers soon collecting the 15 runs he required to complete 1,000 first-class runs for the season.
When further rain sent the players back to the pavilion shortly after 1800 he was unbeaten on 17, with Sam Robson on 27 not out during a day when the grim weather allowed only 19.3 overs to be bowled.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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