Strauss and Hughes join forces
England captain Andrew Strauss and Australian team-mate Phil Hughes gave an early taster of what this summer’s Ashes could have in store against a modest Leicestershire bowling attack on the first day of the LV= County Championship clash.
The two Middlesex left-handers came together when Billy Godleman fell lbw to the seventh ball of the match and embarked on a second-wicket stand of 244 in 53 overs after Shaun Udal had elected to bat first on a slow and docile Lord's pitch.
Godleman, trapped on the crease by an Andrew Harris off-cutter, was to prove Leicestershire’s only victim for the best part of four and a half hours as Strauss and Hughes helped Middlesex reach 281 for two at the close.
Hughes, who passed 50 in each of his three previous innings for Middlesex, was content to play second fiddle to Strauss as spinner Carl Crowe suffered particular punishment.
Both players danced down the pitch to hit Crowe for straight sixes, with Strauss cantering to 50 off 54 balls.
Strauss reached 96 by lunch and cruised to his hundred after the interval, 70 of his runs coming in boundaries.
Hughes eased to his fifty from 92 balls and hit nine fours, many through his favoured area at point, but three others came through the leg side.
Three balls after reaching 150 from 164 deliveries, Strauss edged a delivery from Wayne White to wicketkeeper Paul Nixon.
The rain then arrived to save Leicestershire from further punishment, leaving Hughes stranded on 99 not out going into day two of the Division Two encounter.
Speaking of Hughes, Strauss said: “It was interesting to bat with him, have a good look at him and see where his strengths and weaknesses lie.
“He’s obviously got the ability to score runs consistently, which, for such a young player, is not something you always see.
“He has a very different technique but, like Alastair Cook when I first saw him, Phil knows how to get runs. He doesn’t necessarily have to hit memorable shots all the time but he knows his game pretty well.”