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Gale goes down a storm once more

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale took his aggregate to 375 in two LV= County Championship innings as his side ran up a total of 390 and then reduced Middlesex to 16 for one before bad light and rain shortened day two at Lord's.

Gale, pictured, batted almost nine hours for his 272 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough last week and had been at the crease for another five hours scoring 103 when he was lbw to off-spinner Ollie Rayner.

It was hard to believe that until five days ago Gale had not made a century for more than two years as he moved slowly but assuredly from his overnight 61 to a hundred off 218 balls. It included nine fours, the best of them the cover-drive off Gareth Berg that took him to three figures.

Gale lost partner Alex Lees - with whom he had shared a third-wicket partnership of 145 to take Yorkshire to 215 for two - to the first ball of the morning from James Harris, who had recovered from the side strain that forced him out of the attack after only 4.3 overs the day before.

Lees nibbled outside off and was caught behind for 100, his first championship century in only his third match, after facing 223 balls and hitting 11 fours.

Joe Sayers, back in the Yorkshire side because Gary Ballance is suffering from a virus, was trapped in front by Tim Murtagh for one but Gale found another willing partner in Adil Rashid, the leg-spinning all-rounder who is emerging as a prolific middle-order batsman.

Rashid, whose average this season was trimmed to a modest 169 when he was out for a duck against Nottinghamshire, should have gone again without scoring when he edged his eighth ball from Murtagh to first slip but Joe Denly put down a straightforward catch.

He made Middlesex pay with some glorious straight-drives and put on 109 with Gale, who seldom looked like getting out before falling leg-before as he tried to whip Rayner through the on side.

Yorkshire's target then was a fourth batting point but, with seven needed off the 110th over, Rashid became the latest lbw victim by playing across the line to Harris after making 72 off 109 balls with 12 fours.

The White Rose had to settle for a few more runs from the tail, as Rayner joined Harris and Murtagh on three wickets, and a total that looked imposing when Middlesex's reply got off to a terrible start.

Steven Patterson found bounce and movement to have Sam Robson caught at second slip for just five before the weather closed in after 5.2 overs to bring an early end to proceedings.

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