Robson century sees Middlesex make solid start against Somerset
- Credit: PA
Sam Robson survived two early chances to post his highest red-ball score in five years as Middlesex made a solid start to their LV= County Championship opener against Somerset at Lord’s.
James Hildreth and Craig Overton both spilled slip catches before the opener had passed his half-century and he took advantage to accumulate 165, with Middlesex reaching 293 for eight at stumps.
Robson’s majestic knock, which included 25 fours, was his best performance since registering a career-best double hundred in the opening match of the 2016 season against Warwickshire.
The 31-year-old eventually fell to Lewis Gregory, who ended the day with figures of four for 54 after Somerset fought back in the evening session.
Somerset, runners-up in both of the last two Championship campaigns, put their hosts in after winning the toss and quickly removed Max Holden, who clipped Overton into the hands of square leg in the third over.
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Nick Gubbins appeared well set, hitting four boundaries to reach 21, but his was the second wicket to fall during the morning session as former Middlesex medium-pacer Josh Davey pinned him leg before.
Davey should also have claimed the scalp of Robson on 23, with Hildreth failing to gather the edge before Overton, at second slip, put the right-hander down off Gregory with 47 to his name.
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Stephen Eskinazi kept Robson company with a watchful innings of 22 and the pair had added 80 for the third wicket when Gregory got Middlesex’s stand-in captain lbw with one that stayed low.
However, Robson – who looked particularly strong on the leg side throughout – advanced to reach his century from 139 deliveries, stroking Gregory through midwicket for three.
Somerset eventually turned to spin in search of a wicket and Jack Leach came up trumps as Robbie White miscalculated the left-armer’s line, prodding forward and nudging him to second slip for 17.
Davey’s nagging line earned him his second success shortly after tea when he had Martin Andersson caught behind off a thin edge.
Gregory then struck twice in successive overs with the new ball, dismissing John Simpson before Robson attempted to cut and was caught by Tom Abell at third slip.
The all-rounder collected his fourth wicket when Hildreth dived to take an edge off Tom Helm, but Toby Roland-Jones’ unbeaten 19 kept Middlesex within sight of a third batting bonus point.