Middlesex well on top at the end of day one.
The teams were faced with a bright if quite breezy Sophia Gardens when stand-in Middlesex captain, Peter Handscomb elected to field after winning the toss.
Middlesex made a number of changes from the side that played in week one, following the arrival of Handscomb and Shaheen Shah Afridi and the return to fitness of Martin Andersson. Left arm spinner, Thilan Walallawita, also came in. There was one change for Glamorgan with James Harris returning, having recovered from the illness that kept him out of last week’s side.
The potent Middlesex seam attack immediately set the tone for the morning, David Lloyd surviving a sharp chance to the slips in the first over. In the next over, Toby Roland-Jones enticed Andrew Salter into a loose shot that was gratefully received by square leg. Marcus Labuschagne then renewed his battle with Afridi and the Pakistani quick won the day, as Labuschagne played on trying to leave a ball that rose sharply. 21/2 became 21/3 when Sam Northeast edged the next ball to Robbie White at second slip. Kiran Carlson survived the hat trick ball but was out next over. He wafted at a delivery from Roland-Jones, an inside edge carrying through to James Simpson.
A rash call for a quick single and a direct hit from Sam Robson ended Lloyd’s stay and when he was out, Glamorgan were 30/5. Chris Cooke and Callum Taylor added 21 runs before Tom Helm had Taylor trapped in front and next over Michael Neser was also out lbw, this time to Andersson. Cooke and Harris survived until lunch, but at 71/7 Middlesex were well on top. The pitch, while tinged with green, did not have too many demons in it and so while the Middlesex seamers stuck to a good line and length, the Glamorgan batters were culpable.
Wickets continued to fall after lunch, Cooke hooking a short ball from Roland -Jones to Afridi at long leg for 31. Then Harris repeated the shot off Helm, again into the safe hands of Afridi. Hogan was last out, giving Afridi his third. Roland-Jones and Helm were the pick of the bowlers, finishing with three and two wickets respectively. A final total of 122 looked well below par.
When Robson and Mark Stoneman came out to bat they put the pitch in a different light racing to 42 by the end of the ninth over, helped by some loose bowling. Then Harris struck, first removing Robson lbw, followed by Robbie White, caught by wicket keeper Cooke. 68/2 became 75/3 as Cooke took another catch to dismiss Handscomb, this time off the bowling of Timm van der Gugten.
Glamorgan kept up the pressure after tea, while Stoneman seemed to be playing on a different pitch. He moved to 50 from 68 balls but Harris then struck, removing Max Holden. Stoneman went shortly after to van der Gugten for 53. The sixth wicket fell with the score on 110 but Simpson and Roland-Jones then halted the clatter of wickets. Together they took the score to 171/6 at the close of play, a decisive 61 run partnership, the first 50 partnership of the game.
The pitch looks as if batting will get easier as the game progresses.