Murtagh and Collins flatten Surrey
Middlesex 179 for 2 v Surrey 167
Surrey were left to regret batting first in conditions where the ball moved alarmingly through the air as Tim Murtagh bagged a five-wicket haul in this County Championship Division Two clash at Lord's.
Murtagh took three of the final four wickets to fall as Surrey were shot out for 167 before tea, returning 5 for 52 against his former county, but it was Pedro Collins who did the early damage with 4 for 68.
Surrey's day soured further after tea when, bowling too short, they allowed Scott Newman to reach a watchful 54 from 114 balls until falling leg-before. Middlesex eventually ended the opening day 12 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand.
Collins reserved a beauty to claim the key wicket of Mark Ramprakash, who has a better average against his old team than against any other county. Ramprakash has scored four hundreds against Middlesex in the last 14 months, but this time he was comprehensively bowled for 44 when a superb late inswinger defeated him.
When Stewart Walters' stumps were also wrecked, by Murtagh, Surrey were 116 for 5 but continued to go on the attack. They did manage 51 from the next eight overs but were bowled out in the process.
Such was the lavish swing under the morning's heavy cloud, the surprise was that it took 50 minutes for the first man to go. Three then fell in eight balls, however, including two in two balls for Collins. The Bajan, a man with a point to prove against the side who released him last autumn, had both Tom Lancefield and Rory Hamilton-Jones trapped leg before with inswinging deliveries.
Usman Afzaal (11) survived the hat-trick ball, and battled for an hour alongside Ramprakash, but was a third leg-before victim in the penultimate over before lunch.
Murtagh had struck the opening blow, to claim his first Championship scalp since 17 May, as he found Steve Davies's inside edge and the deflection just dislodged a bail. Indeed, each of the top six batsmen departed bowled or leg-before as intelligent full-length bowling exploited conditions to the full.
But Surrey failed to match these methods later and Middlesex had almost half their opponents' total before their first wicket fell. John Simpson, pulling, bottom-edged into his stumps for 36.
It was an hour from the late close when Gareth Batty's off-spin was re-introduced and he immediately removed Newman. But, unquestionably, the first day of the London derby belonged to Middlesex.