Rogers and Denly decimate Somerset
A magnificent stand of 245 between Chris Rogers and Joe Denly ensured Middlesex bossed day two of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Somerset at Lord’s from start to finish.
Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones and Gareth Berg claimed three scalps each as Somerset were all out for 173 - losing their last five wickets for just 43 runs.
And that looks to be nowhere near enough after captain Rogers made 173 off just 191 balls and Denly contributed an unbeaten 105 as Middlesex closed on 321 for two - a lead of 148.
The hosts now look likely to go on and build a substantial first-innings lead.
Less than an hour of play was possible before lunch, but that was enough for Somerset to slip from 130 for four overnight to 155 for eight.
Four wickets fell in the first 10 deliveries of the day, starting with that of Craig Kieswetter, who aimed a loose slash at the first ball to be caught behind off Berg for 48.
Jos Buttler was bowled off an inside edge by Murtagh, who struck again when Craig Overton gloved a seemingly innocuous bouncer through to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
With Berg sending Alfonso Thomas’s off stump cartwheeling, Peter Trego was joined at the crease by George Dockrell.
Trego cut Berg for four and pulled Murtagh to the midwicket fence. But a hint of sideways movement hampered Somerset’s reparations.
Following an early lunch, Dockrell was caught behind off Roland-Jones, with Trego reacting by on-driving and cutting the next two balls, from Berg, to the rope at wide long-on and cover respectively.
But Trego, looking to deposit Roland-Jones in the Mound Stand, only succeeded in picking out Eoin Morgan at deep square-leg to depart for 38.
Following a watchful start, Rogers hit Gemaal Hussain for a quartet of fours in eight deliveries. The introduction of Thomas brought the wicket of Sam Robson, who was pinned on the crease for nine.
But then Rogers and Denly took control by setting a new record for Middlesex’s second wicket in first-class matches against Somerset.
Rogers posted a 62-ball half-century, which he celebrated by rounding on Hussain again. The Australian brought up the hundred for the home side with the fifth of five fours in the space of seven deliveries from the 28-year-old seamer.
The final session saw the hosts collect a further 207 in 41 overs, with Denly raising the hundred partnership with an on-driven four off Trego, before moving to a 76-ball fifty.
In the 46th over, a fortuitous inside edge for one off Dockrell took Rogers to three figures off just 139 deliveries.
But, with James Hildreth deploying spin at both ends, the 34-year-old left-hander only needed another 28 deliveries to turn his hundred into 150.
Rogers swept Arul Suppiah for two sixes in three balls, though not before Denly had launched Dockrell into the top tier of the Tavern Stand.
Somerset’s misery was compounded by lapses in the field and Rogers raised the 200 partnership with another maximum, this time off Trego.
But Trego had his revenge when Rogers was eventually caught on the deep square-leg boundary for 173.
Shortly before the close, Denly moved to his second championship hundred of the season, which came off 168 balls and contained 12 fours and one six.