Peters and Wakely make stand
Stephen Peters and Alex Wakely scored a century apiece as they shared a third-wicket partnership of 182 to take Northamptonshire to 280 for four in reply to Middlesex’s 347 all out in their LV= County Championship Division Two clash at Lord’s.
Peters, who scored a career-best 183 not out in leading Northamptonshire to a six-wicket victory over Middlesex at Wantage Road in April, simply carried on where he left off to make an unbeaten 115 off 231 balls with 13 fours.
Wakely was more enterprising on the way to only his second hundred in 26 first-class matches, hitting 15 fours in his 108 off 193 balls.
They were together for 54 overs and Middlesex captain Shaun Udal, who had just been off the field for repairs to his left hand after stopping a fierce drive, was wondering where their next wicket was coming from when Wakely chipped him to mid-on to offer Gareth Berg a simple catch.
Six overs later, Rob White gave Udal a second wicket when he lofted him to Danny Evans at mid-off but it had been a dispiriting afternoon for Middlesex after they had made a promising start with the ball.
Pedro Collins, the former West Indies left-armer, was rewarded for a demanding opening spell when he had Ben Howgego leg before and Berg, the South Africa-born all-rounder, who was presented with his county cap at teatime, put Mal Loye out of his misery by having him caught at second slip for a 22-ball duck.
Then Middlesex ran into an immovable object in Peters, who had scored only 65 runs in his previous seven innings at Lord’s at an average of 9.28 and was obviously determined to put the record straight.
Now 31, he has never quite fulfilled the potential he showed when he scored a century on his first-class debut for Essex at 17 and won the man of the match award with a hundred in the Under-19 World Cup final in South Africa, but he has become one of the most consistent opening batsmen in the championship with three centuries and three fifties this season.
Wakely, 21, has found runs harder to come by since making his maiden hundred against Glamorgan at Cardiff last summer but there were signs of real promise in some of his strokeplay.
Earlier, Middlesex added six to their overnight 341 for nine before Chaminda Vaas, the Sri Lanka left-arm seamer, had Collins caught behind to finish with the excellent figures of 4-49 in 21.2 overs against one of his former counties.