Rogers puts Sussex to the sword
Chris Rogers put Middlesex in a position of strength after the second day of their LV= County Championship Division One encounter with Sussex at Lord’s.
The Middlesex captain made an unbeaten 93 while half-centuries from Joe Denly and Eoin Morgan - with 67 and 52 not out respectively - moved the hosts to 229 for three at the close.
Rogers added 145 with Denly and 77 alongside Morgan to take Middlesex within 54 runs of Sussex’s first-innings total with seven wickets remaining.
Earlier, Tim Murtagh completed his first five-wicket haul of the season as Sussex were bowled out for 283.
That was a good effort considering they were 33 for four at one stage, and their tailenders continued the recovery by adding a further 41 to the overnight score of 242 for eight.
Steve Magoffin and James Anyon secured a second batting point before their partnership of 36 came to an end as the latter became Murtagh’s fifth victim; he chopped a short ball on to his stumps.
Monty Panesar made an entertaining 15 to add to Middlesex’s frustration before the England spinner steered a short ball from Gareth Berg to Ollie Rayner at second slip.
Magoffin ensured it was Sussex’s morning by trapping Sam Robson lbw for a duck in the second over as Middlesex reached lunch on 32 for one.
It could have been worse for the hosts, with Denly dropped twice in the slip cordon by Joe Gatting and Ed Joyce - both times off Anyon - when still in single figures.
The former Kent batsman continued to ride his luck as Anyon beat the bat numerous times during a fiery opening spell.
Denly made the most of the good fortune, reaching his half-century off 85 balls with eight fours.
Rogers followed in the next over with his fifty coming from 79, including five fours, as the pair brought up their 100 partnership.
Panesar made the breakthrough just before tea when Denly offered no shot and was given lbw for 67.
Dawid Malan went three balls later, caught at second slip by Joyce for one to give Anyon the wicket he deserved.
Normal service resumed after tea, however, with Rogers rarely looking troubled as he sought a second consecutive championship century.
He was denied the chance to complete it before the close when bad light brought an end six overs early.
Morgan reached his half-century with consecutive fours off Anyon in the final over before play was suspended; the England batsman hit six fours and a big six off Panesar.