Strauss leaves Leicestershire reeling

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Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss registered the first double hundred of his career to put Middlesex firmly in control of their clash with Leicestershire

Leicestershire ended day two of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash against Middlesex facing the prospect of an innings defeat after England captain Andrew Strauss claimed his maiden first-class double century at Lord’s.

The visitors were dismissed shortly before the scheduled close for 193 in reply to Middlesex’s 496 for two declared, the highlight of which was Strauss’ unbeaten 241 off 344 balls.

Led by Steven Crook with 4-45 and Tim Murtagh, who took 3-41, the Middlesex attack made life extremely difficult for Leicestershire, who seem certain to be asked to follow on in the morning.

The visitors began hesitantly, with Will Jefferson in particular struggling against the moving ball although Matthew Boyce cover drove Corey Collymore for four before despatching Murtagh to the fence at extra cover.

However in the 15th over, having just driven Murtagh for four, Jefferson edged behind to make it 42 for one.

It took Greg Smith 33 balls to find the boundary and in attempting to release the shackles, the 22-year-old chipped Ollie Rayner to Dawid Malan at midwicket.

The visitors were 86 for two at tea, but that became 101 for five when Steven Crook picked up three wickets in 10 balls.

England prospect James Taylor was bowled before, Josh Cobb was trapped leg before, while Boyce, who made 46 in 122 deliveries, had his bails trimmed by the 28- year-old all-rounder to leave Leicestershire reeling.

Ned Eckersley and Wayne White then added 50 in nine overs for the sixth wicket before the former was caught behind off Toby Roland-Jones for 28.

White, falling away to the off side, went lbw for 37 to Collymore to spark another collapse, which saw Rob Taylor strike Murtagh straight to short extra cover, Nathan Buck edge to third slip and Matthew Hoggard lose his off stump.

Earlier in the day, Strauss registered the highest score by a Middlesex batsman at Lord’s for 12 years as the home side bumped their first-innings total up to 496 for two, before declaring at lunch.

Strauss took 40 minutes converting his unbeaten 184 overnight into a maiden double century, as Hoggard beat the outside edge of the England captain’s bat on a number of occasions.

But in the 10th over of the day Strauss brought up the landmark with a crisply pulled four off Buck. His double hundred had come from 282 balls and it included 21 fours and two sixes.

Malan played some attractive shots but, on 47, fell to a catch at slip off a skied pull. That ushered in Chris Rogers, who deposited both White and Cobb in the Mound Stand for sixes on his way to a run-a-ball 33.

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