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Robson maintains fine form

Middlesex CCC

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Middlesex opening batsman Sam Robson cashed in against a depleted Warwickshire attack and a docile Edgbaston pitch by making his second LV= County Championship century in five days.

Robson followed up his 129 in the second innings of the draw with Surrey at Lord's with a polished unbeaten 136, which helped Middlesex to 280 for three before rain halted play.

The English-qualified Australian right-hander timed the ball beautifully in a 130-ball century, the seventh of his career, and left Warwickshire to regret dropping him on 73 when Rikki Clarke put down a regulation catch at second slip off Tom Milnes.

With three seamers missing - Chris Woakes and Chris Wright are on England Lions duty and Keith Barker is injured - Warwickshire's inexperienced attack could not afford such a lapse and Robson punished them by batting Middlesex into a commanding position.

Sam Robson

Sam Robson brilliantly compiles a century as Middlesex reached 280 for three on day one of their LV= County Championship game at Warwickshire

Robson drove impressively off the back foot and also exploited a short boundary on the Rea Bank side of the ground by steering the ball wide of the slips to the unguarded third man boundary.

Warwickshire turned to the occasional medium pace of England batsman Jonathan Trott to keep Robson quiet and by posting two short extra-covers they managed to check his progress.

Former Ireland paceman Boyd Rankin led Warwickshire's depleted attack, which included championship debutant Tom Allin, and his bounce caused most problems for Middlesex.

Chris Rogers, Robson's opening partner, was struck a painful blow on his right elbow by a delivery that lifted sharply before he fell to the fifth ball after lunch, under-edging a cut off Rankin to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.

Robson and Joe Denly then added 95 in 21 overs for the second wicket and appeared in little trouble until Denly went down the pitch to New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel and was stumped by Ambrose.

Dawid Malan raced to 37 from 36 balls and was unhappy to be given out lbw by umpire Steve Gale when Patel went round the wicket to him.

But Warwickshire could not dislodge Robson, even when the floodlights had to be switched on as the light deteriorated and the rain clouds gathered, as he reached 500 championship runs for the season.

Neil Dexter, who made a century in the corresponding fixture last August, also timed the ball nicely from the start and Warwickshire were the more relieved side when the forecast rain arrived and drove the players off at 4:50pm.

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