Sam Robson rewrote the county record books as Middlesex continued to hold sway against Warwickshire on day two at Lord’s.
The England discard, who had sent a strong message to England coach Trevor Bayliss with an unbeaten 175 on Day One, went on to record a career-best and set a record for any Middlesex batsman against Warwickshire.
In reply Steven Finn removed Ian Westwood with his first ball, but as ever it was Tim Murtagh who carried the main threat for the hosts, uprooting the stumps of another England dropped man Ian Bell and Varun Chopra.
Former England man Jonathan Trott’s half-century saved the visitors from total collapse, but Warwickshire face a tough fight to avoid their first defeat at Lord’s since 1983.
Under darker skies than day one, Robson resumed as run-hungry as ever, surviving the odd play and miss to raise his 200 in a shade over seven hours at the crease.
Wicket-keeper John Simpson provided staunch support, reaching his own half-century soon afterwards before nicking Rikki Clarke to Tim Ambrose to end a stand of 107.
James Franklin soon departed after edging the deserving Oliver Hannon-Dalby to Clarke at second slip, but Robson was unperturbed moving to a career-best 216 not out with a 29th boundary.
The Middlesex record against Warwickshire wasn’t long delayed and raised in the grand manner with a six over mid-off from spinner Jeetan Patel.
His score of 231 eclipsed that of the great Bill Edrich, who made 225 at Edgbaston in 1947.
Job done, Robson holed out at mid-off trying to repeat the shot the very next ball.
Wickets then fell in a heap until Finn enlivened a final wicket stand of 37 with Toby Roland-Jones with a huge straight six – only the fifth of his career.
Inspired by the rare landmark, Finn induced an edge from Westwood to a rising ball outside off stump to give Middlesex the perfect start in the field.
Thereafter the England quick was too far back of a length in his opening spell and it was left to his long-time new-ball partner Murtagh to show the way, bowling Bell with a full delivery which kept low.
Chopra survived a huge shout for lbw which saw Finn sitting on the pitch imploring umpire Kettleborough to raise the finger, to reach 50.
Immediately afterwards he was reprieved when Middlesex skipper Adam Voges spilled a routine catch at first slip off Toby Roland-Jones.
The miss would not prove too costly as Murtagh brought one back up the slope in the first over after tea to uproot the opener’s off stump for 57.
Sam Hain didn’t detain us for long giving Finn a second wicket, but Trott’s mixture of straight drives and leg-side nudges which took him to a 99-ball 50 means the Bears, though playing catch-up are not yet out of the reckoning.