Leicestershire 273 for 9 (Swindells 67, Scriven 65) Trail middlesex 297 (Simpson 92, Eskinazzi 64, Higgins 53, Finn 5-58) by 24 runs
Leicestershire scored 273 for 66 for nine in reply to Middlesex’s 297 on the second day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match, a day when the last place in Division Two was a little less clear than the current, last final. The round of matches began.
Claiming five for 58, the 26-year-old left-arm pacer ended Middlesex’s tail as the promotion-chaser was dismissed for three runs short of a crucial third batting point.
Leicestershire raised a few eyebrows when they handed Finan a two-year contract before seeing him play in a senior match, but he is already developing the stamina and control to go with his pace and out of his 18 overs here. There seems to be a danger in everyone. Keeping the ball overhead, he led his teammates off the field with a broad smile.
By lunchtime, however, the atmosphere in the dressing room of the house would have been quite different. The Middlesex total, built around John Simpson’s patient 92 on the first day, already looked formidable as Leicestershire fell to five.
With Hasan Azad and Rishi Patel’s lack of form and the return of leading scorer Viaan Mulder in South Africa, 18-year-old rookie all-rounder Rehan Ahmed needed to bat at five. It seemed like a pretty thin line-up.
In the incident, Ahmed scored 26 off 56 balls before an indecisive swipe bowled him with a somewhat dangerous opening delivery from fellow leg-spinner Luke Holman, yet he did better than his first four.
Sol Budinger dismissed Toby Rowland-Jones for seven for seven in the second over and then four for three and reached at second slip to send a scene from the Middlesex seamer. Louis Kimber was bowled to the inside edge with a swing ball from Murtagh.
Sam Evans is bowled to a delivery by Ethan Bamber, who hits him for a boundary and throws it away to clip the stumps. A full, straight from Roland-Jones was great for Colin Ackerman, first leg.
Still Leicestershire were in a very healthy position by tea, negotiating 38 overs mid-season without losing another wicket as Scriven – in only his fourth first-class match – and Swindells guided them to 184 for five , with the threat of a follow – avoided.
The sixth wicket pair was impressively disciplined and narrow escapes were kept to a minimum. Scriven scored his first-class fifty for Leicestershire in a first-class match, reaching the milestone with a slap for one off 97 balls, which took the partnership to three figures. Swindell’s half-century came in 133 balls just before tea.
Scriven dropped seven balls for 65 in the final session as Murtagh took the lead. But Barnes helped add another 39 before Swindells was undone, when Hollman somehow made a rear up and took the glove or shoulder of the bat to second slip, where Steve Eskinazzi took it out of the air with one hand. Removed.
By the time the new ball was taken, Finnon had come and gone, caught at third slip by Roland-Jones, but captain Callum Parkinson helped Barnes add another 28 for the ninth wicket, before Bamber was caught. lbw done.