Middlesex 280 for 3 (Robson 138*) vs Leicestershire

Sam Robson's first century since the season's opening day gave Middlesex the early advantage in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Leicestershire at Merchant Taylors' School.

After acting captain Tim Murtagh won the toss, the former England opener struck 13 fours in his unbeaten 138, sharing half-century stands with Josh De Caires, Stevie Eskinazi and Daryl Mitchell as the hosts reached 280 for 3 before bad light ended play three overs ahead of the scheduled close.

Ben Mike, Ed Barnes and Abidine Sakande took a wicket apiece for the visitors.

Robson was positive from the outset, getting well forward in defence against the seamers. Boundaries though were few and far between, a straight drive off Sakande a rare exception.

At the other end De Caires, in only his second game for the hosts, survived a bang on the helmet as he and Robson raised 50 for the first wicket, only the second time a Middlesex opening pair had managed the feat all season.

The stand reached 73 before De Caires chopped a short one from Ben Mike into his stumps, part of an eventful spell for the seamer which included an official warning for running on the pitch.

Robson's 50 came soon afterwards from 72 balls with four fours and he and Eskinazi prospered either side of lunch despite some miserly bowling from Will Davies and Callum Parkinson.

The 50 partnership was raised before fate took a hand and Eskinazi pulled up after taking a sharp single and had to retire injured.

Max Holden, recalled to the first XI in the wake of skipper Peter Handscomb's positive Covid test, survived an early caught behind shout to hit some stylish boundaries. However, he failed to make the most of being dropped at second slip by Marcus Harris off Barnes, edging the same bowler through to wicketkeeper Josh Inglis shortly afterwards.

Robson though continued unperturbed, cutting Sakande to the point boundary to reach his century from 172 balls on the stroke of tea.

The centurion rode his luck a little in the final session, flashing a couple through the slips and surviving a confident appeal for lbw from Davies.

But New Zealand international Mitchell played with increasing assurance for his 38 and it was a shock when he drove Sakande to Harry Swindells with the pair just shy of a century stand.