Morgan rallies Middlesex

Lv County Championship

Eoin Morgan hit his maiden LV County Championship century to lead a strong Middlesex fightback on the second day at Bristol.

The 21-year-old Irishman was unbeaten on 128 at the close, having batted all through another rain-shortened day, in a total of 282 for six.

Ben Scott contributed 83 to a fifth-wicket stand of 172 with Morgan after the visitors had begun in some trouble at 73 for four.

There was a maiden first-class wicket for Gloucestershire's young trialist seamer Ian Saxelby on an otherwise frustrating day for the home attack.

Morgan and Scott were together at the start of the morning's play and were not parted until 4.04pm with the total on 236 when Scott was caught behind off bat and pad to the second delivery sent down by occasional off-spinner Chris Taylor.

The Middlesex wicketkeeper is in the best batting form of his career and had rarely looked troubled in facing 191 balls, hitting nine fours in a partnership spanning 65.2 overs.

Ben Scott

Ben Scott is in the form of his life with the bat © Getty Images

Left-hander Morgan, who began the day on 23, faced 10 deliveries on 99, having been dismissed in the nineties in his side's previous two championship fixtures.

A scampered single off Anthony Ireland, which almost saw him run out by a direct hit at the bowler's end, took him to three figures off 263 balls, with eight fours.

It had been a sound innings of impressive concentration. But with most of the first day having been washed out, the careful rather than spectacular progress made by Middlesex did little to increase chances of a decisive result.

Morgan and Scott could hardly be blamed for that, given the precarious situation when they came together. More short, but frustrating, breaks for light showers hardly helped the innings gain momentum. By tea it was 237 for five.

Saxelby's big moment came when Tim Murtagh fenced at a short ball outside off stump and was caught behind for 10 with the score 261 for six.

The 19-year-old seamer is looking to earn a contract at Bristol after playing for Nottinghamshire second XI and England Under-19s this summer.

He bowled tidily, as did his team-mates, without the penetration to build on their first day successes. Steve Kirby had little luck in passing the bat on several occasions.

The longest break in play came at the end. The players went off at 5.10pm and, although a 6pm resumption was planned, more drizzle made it impossible and 20 overs were lost.

That will not worry Morgan, whose vigil had occupied 305 balls by the close and featured 13 fours.

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