Roland-Jones stars after tube-strike chaos
Middlesex 0 for 0 v Worcestershire 313
Toby Roland-Jones fell foul of the London tube strike congestion to miss the first 40 minutes of play but returned to help Middlesex bowl out promotion-chasing Worcestershire for 313 on the opening day of the County Championship Division Two game at Lord's.
Roland-Jones was not held responsible for his late arrival by the club and the 22-year-old fast bowler came back well from his stressful start to the day to take 4 for 51, making him the pick of the Middlesex attack. Several other Middlesex players - including England pair Steven Finn and Owais Shah - also struggled to make it to the ground on time, although it was only Roland-Jones who actually missed the 10.30am start.
Many roads were gridlocked in the capital as a result of the 24-hour tube strike and the resulting increase in those trying to get to and from work by car, and Roland-Jones was held up in traffic so bad that he could not even consider using an alternative route to Lord's.
But when he finally made it onto the field, after Worcestershire had won the toss and chosen to bat, he wasted little time before making an impact with the wicket of left-handed opener David Wheeldon, caught behind to one angled across him.
Middlesex, who opted for a four-man frontline pace attack and left out veteran offspinner Shaun Udal, were unlucky not to get more than the one wicket of Wheeldon, for 14, before lunch. The ball beat the edge of the bat on numerous occasions, although two catches were missed - one offered by Wheeldon when he had made seven.
A mid-afternoon collapse saw Worcestershire slide from 101 for 1 to 126 for 4. Daryl Mitchell, who had batted solidly for 47, left a ball from Finn which trimmed his off bail, and Vikram Solanki edged Neil Dexter to first slip on 39.
Roland-Jones then contributed again, moving one away from Alexei Kervezee to have the Dutch right-hander caught at second slip. Moeen Ali and Shakib Al Hasan repaired some of the damage with a fifth-wicket partnership of 78, but former Bangladesh captain Shakib then mishit Shah's offspin to midwicket after scoring a bright 34.
James Cameron swung Dexter's medium pace over mid-wicket for six - a stroke Moeen had also earlier played - but the Middlesex captain hit back by having Moeen well held to his left by Shah at slip as he tried to steer a short ball to third man. Moeen hit a six and 10 fours in an attractive innings of 66.
After Cameron had fallen to the second new ball, lbw to Pedro Collins as he fell across his stumps, and Ben Cox had been superbly held by a diving Dan Housego at backward point to give Dexter figures of 3 for 50, some excellent hitting by Gareth Andrew helped Worcestershire to a third batting bonus point.
Andrew finally miscued an attempted pull at Roland-Jones to be caught at long-off for 36, but last pair Jack Shantry and Alan Richardson made sure the visitors got past 300. Roland-Jones finished his eventful day by having Richardson caught at the wicket swinging the bat.
In Middlesex's solitary over of batting before the close, nightwatchman Finn played out a maiden from Alan Richardson.