Taylor and McDonald run amok

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James Taylor

James Taylor, 20, enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a sensational double century, the second of his embryonic career

James Taylor hit a brilliant double century and Australian Andrew McDonald a career-best 176 in a record fourth-wicket partnership as Leicestershire seized control of their LV= County Championship game against Middlesex at Grace Road.

Taylor and McDonald smashed 360 off 73 overs to take Leicestershire to an imposing 464 for three declared and earn them five batting bonus points for the first time this season.

Taylor finished on 206 not out off 271 balls while McDonald’s 218-ball innings beat his previous best of 150 not out for Victoria against New South Wales three years ago.

Middlesex faced an awkward seven overs before the close following Matthew Hoggard’s declaration, but reached 19 without loss to trail by 445 at the end of the second day.

It was the second double century of 20-year-old Taylor’s career, while McDonald reached three figures for the second successive championship game.

Their fourth-wicket partnership beat the previous best of 290 between Peter Willey and Tim Boon - the current Leicestershire coach - against Warwickshire in 1984.

Leicestershire's performance was in stark contrast to their efforts in the last match against Glamorgan a few days ago when they were bowled out for 71 in their second innings.

They began the second day of this match looking in some trouble on an overnight 23 for two but then proceeded to score 441 runs off 88 overs for the loss of just one wicket.

Middlesex toiled to make any impact with the ball and were not helped by some sloppy fielding and the absence after lunch of seamer Iain O'Brien, who was unable to return to the field because of a suspected thigh injury.

The only wicket Middlesex took was that of opener Matthew Boyce, who was bowled for 42 by a perfect yorker from Gareth Berg an hour into the morning.

From that point on Taylor and McDonald dominated, with runs flowing freely as they flayed the Middlesex attack.

Taylor, who shot to stardom last season scoring his maiden century against Middlesex at Southgate, clearly loves playing against them.

He reached his century today with a four off Shaun Udal - his 15th - having faced 138 balls. McDonald was equally severe with some glorious drives both sides of the wicket and, despite using eight bowlers, Udal was unable to prevent Leicestershire’s march past 400.

McDonald reached his century off 158 balls with 13 fours, while Taylor’s double century arrived off 267 balls and contained 27 fours.

When Hoggard called a halt, the partnership was Leicestershire’s fourth highest for any wicket in the Championship.

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