Murtagh and Rogers star in derby
Tim Murtagh and Chris Rogers were Middlesex’s first-day heroes as they got the better of London rivals Surrey in the LV= County Championship Division One clash at the Kia Oval.
Murtagh took 5-37 against his former county as the hosts, after opting to bat first, were tumbled out for 144; only Jason Roy put up any prolonged resistance with an unbeaten 55.
Rogers, the former Australia batsman now captaining Middlesex, then struck 56 and teamed up with opening partner Sam Robson to add 98 for the first wicket in reply.
At the close, Middlesex were only 45 runs behind on 99 for one, Rogers falling in the penultimate over when he was yorked by Jade Dernbach.
Robson, who batted with a determination that none of Surrey’s top order had managed, remained 24 not out alongside nightwatchman Tom Smith.
Both London teams won promotion to Division One last year, but, while Middlesex are safely in mid-table going into the last month of the season, Surrey are in a relegation battle given they sit seventh.
Surrey’s decision to bat in overcast conditions backfired against a seam attack led superbly by Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones, who finished with 3-38.
When rain forced the players off early in the opening session, Surrey were already 28 for two, with Rory Burns taken at first slip off Murtagh and Zafar Ansari well held low down by diving wicketkeeper Adam Rossington off Roland-Jones.
Soon after play resumed at 1:30pm, Zander de Bruyn was leg before to Roland-Jones for a duck and Rory Hamilton-Brown bowled through the gate in his first championship appearance since early June.
The score was 41 for five when Arun Harinath, shuffling across his stumps, fell lbw to Roland-Jones.
After a brief flurry of fine strokes, Steven Davies edged a back-foot drive off Neil Dexter’s medium pace behind, and the slide continued when Gareth Batty shouldered arms at an inswinger from the same bowler.
Following another 40-minute break for rain, which included the tea interval, Roy and Murali Kartik managed to put together a defiant stand of 41 before Murtagh was recalled to bring a swift end to the innings.
Kartik was yorked for 23 and, after Roy had reached 55 from 76 balls with nine fours, Murtagh had Tim Linley held at second slip and Dernbach leg before with successive balls.