Surrey take charge on rain-hit day

Middlesex 88 for 4 v Surrey

Middlesex stumbled to 88 for four against Surrey at Guildford as persistent rain meant only 35 overs were possible on day one of the sides' County Championship Division Two encounter.

A well-grassed pitch coupled with the overcast conditions ensured ball dominated bat as Surrey's attack - shorn of England Test paceman Chris Tremlett but bolstered by the return of his one-day international replacement Jade Dernbach - held sway from ball one.

Despite beating the bat on several occasions it took them nine overs before making their initial breakthrough, which owed more to bowler's cunning than it did movement off the seam or the ball swinging through the air.

Playing back and across in defence, Middlesex opener Sam Robson was hopelessly bamboozled by Dernbach's well-disguised slower ball that crept under his bat and onto the stumps.

In the next over, left-hander Scott Newman, playing against his former side, fenced outside off against one from Tim Linley that held its line despite the Woodbridge Road slope and edged into the gloves of wicketkeeper Steve Davies.

Some 11 runs on and with 20 against his name, fellow left-hander Dawid Malan pushed inside the line of delivery from off-spinner Gareth Batty that just gripped the surface and turned to beat the outside edge and peg back off stump.

Three balls later and against the pace of Stuart Meaker, Middlesex captain Neil Dexter made a late decision to shoulder arms to one that darted off the seam and into the right-hander to clip the top of off stump.

Chris Rogers made it through to lunch but only after surviving a concerted lbw appeal from Dernbach and the Surrey slip cordon, which was turned aside by ICC panel umpire Shavir Tarapore. The India-born official, in England as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's joint umpire exchange scheme with the ICC, handled the situation well as Surrey, and Dernbach in particular, turned the screw with a series of lbw shouts.

Showers arrived at lunch and finally abated shortly before 5pm, by which time only a handful of hardy spectators remained to witness a brief, six-over resumption that Rogers and Jamie Dalrymple survived before rain returned to wash out play for the day.

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    Middlesex stumbled to 88 for four against Surrey at Guildford as persistent rain meant only 35 overs were possible

Middlesex 4th innings Partnerships

1st63SA NewmanSD Robson
2nd8CJL RogersSD Robson
3rd13DJ MalanSD Robson
4th86NJ DexterSD Robson
5th20JWM DalrympleSD Robson