Warwickshire fightback leaves honours even
LV= County Championship Division One leaders Warwickshire hit back late on to dislodge Middlesex centurion Dawid Malan and claim a further three wickets on day one at Uxbridge.
Having been well set on 232 for two, with Warwickshire’s seam attack struggling to find a telling line and length, the hosts reached stumps on 324 for seven.
Chris Wright and Chris Woakes came up with the goods with the second new ball to leave visiting captain Jim Troughton more content with his decision to field first.
However, Malan’s 106, together with 95 from Joe Denly, ensured Middlesex could still be happy with their day’s work.
Although he had wanted to bowl first, home skipper Chris Rogers found himself batting having lost the toss.
He was relatively untroubled in putting on 41 for the first wicket until an ill-advised push drive against Wright took the edge to give returning wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose the first of three catches.
Denly teamed up with former Kent colleague Neil Dexter to add a further 56 for the second wicket in only 15 overs as the Warwickshire attack constantly offered too much width.
Dexter fell leg before three minutes before lunch, however, when off balance and working to leg against Rikki Clarke, leaving Denly and Malan to lead the way in the afternoon session.
Denly was happy to drop anchor and grind out his runs and, after posting a 95-ball fifty, he pushed back the next 44 deliveries without scoring - 37 of them against Darren Maddy, who sent down five successive maidens.
The opener finally broke the stranglehold with a top-edged pull against Rankin that flew over the keeper’s head for six to get the scoreboard ticking once more.
Denly looked set for his third century of the summer, only to fall lbw when he played back to a Maddy in-ducker, ending a third-wicket stand worth 135.
Malan marched on to reach his first century of the year - and his first in the championship for 11 months - with an exquisite late drive through backward point, the 14th four of his stay.
Wright had his revenge in his next over, however, when he plucked out Malan’s off stump as the left-hander shouldered arms.
That dismissal sparked a dramatic collapse that ultimately left honours even.
John Simpson gloved an attempted hook to the keeper off Woakes, who had Gareth Berg caught at second slip next ball.
Wright then bagged his third scalp of the day when Eoin Morgan wafted outside off stump to be caught behind.