Robson excels in testing conditions

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Sam Robson struck a half-century as Middlesex enjoyed the better on the second day of their LV= County Championship clash with Worcestershire at Lord’s.

The first day’s play was wiped out by rain and bad light and only 40 overs were possible today to leave the game seemingly draw-bound.

Middlesex struggled in bowling-friendly conditions early on after being put in, but Andrew Strauss and fellow opener Robson put together a stand of 80 to leave Middlesex comfortably placed on 148 for two at the close.

Sam Robson

Opener Sam Robson hits 59 as Middlesex coped admirably against Worcestershire's seam bowlers in testing conditions at Lord's

Strauss, keen to find form before the opening Test against the West Indies, was given a searching examination of technique and judgment and should have been dismissed when he had made only five.

Alan Richardson, comfortably Worcestershire’s best bowler, induced an edge which went at comfortable catching height to Michael Klinger at third slip. The Australian spilled the chance, but Strauss continued to look uneasy against both Richardson and his new-ball partner, left-armer David Lucas.

An intended straight drive off Richardson brought Strauss a boundary to cover, off a thick outside edge, but he greeted the introduction of Richard Jones to the attack with a much more authentic stroke, a square cut to the short off-side boundary.

Strauss and the more watchful Robson brought up their 50 stand in the 15th over and when Richardson changed ends Strauss pulled him for six.

The lively Kapil, 18, who played for England Under-19s over the winter, struck with his second ball, beating Strauss’s defensive push with movement into the bat to have him leg before. Strauss had hit five fours and a maximum in his 73-ball stay.

The players went off for bad light soon afterwards and play did not resume until 3.30pm. Kapil promptly conceded 22 in two overs as Robson and Joe Denly took full toll of a series of half-volleys and full tosses.

Robson reached his fifty off 62 balls, but after another short stoppage he perished for 59. He tried to force Richardson through the off side and was well caught low down by Klinger in the same position where he had dropped Strauss.

Denly drove crisply to reach an unbeaten 34 when the light closed in once more to force the players off for the final time on a frustratingly stop-start day.

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