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Abbott helps Hants start well at Lord’s

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Middlesex opener Sam Robson spent most of the day in the Lord’s pavilion before emerging to make 20 when the game finally got started just after tea
LV= County Championship Group Two, Lord’s, London (day one):
Middlesex 90-4: Davies 24, Gubbins 21*, Simpson 20*, Robson 20; Abbott 3-21
Hampshire: Yet to bat
Hampshire 1 pt, Middlesex 0 pts
Scorecard

Hampshire paceman Kyle Abbott took 3-21 in eight overs as Hampshire made the most of the final session against Middlesex on a rain-hit day at Lord’s.

After the loss of the first two sessions, the rain stopped to allow play to get under way just after tea.

Ex-Middlesex paceman Abbott claimed three quick scalps – including a golden duck for home skipper Peter Handscomb as the hosts slumped from 33-0 to 56-4.

But Nick Gubbins and wicketkeeper John Simpson led a recovery to 90-4.

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After being asked to bat by Hampshire skipper James Vince, openers Sam Robson and Jack Davies had given Middlesex a solid platform.

But, on what was his Lord’s first-class debut, despite having had a short one-day stint with Middlesex in 2015, Abbott broke through when Robson prodded forward to an outswinger and Liam Dawson took the catch at second slip.

Davies – replacing the out-of-form Max Holden for only his second first-class appearance and his first in red-ball cricket at Lord’s, then flicked Brad Wheal neatly off his pads to the boundary, only to be caught next ball, again by Dawson.

Handscomb’s poor run of form continued – just 31 runs in six innings, including three ducks – when he misjudged his first ball from Abbott, who clipped his off stump.

Abbott then removed Robbie White’s off stump before Gubbins, who got away with a couple of slashes through the slips, and Simpson saw Middlesex through to the close.

Middlesex batsman Jack Davies:

“Opening at Lord’s and going through the Long Room is good fun. Something I won’t forget. It was nice being out there with Robbo, who’s got a lot of experience under his belt.

“I’ve actually batted quite a lot with him in the second team, so I know how well he goes about his business and that made me feel a bit more comfortable.

“I’ve been in decent form in the second team and I’ve not had a massive score, but I felt pretty good going into this game and it started to come off.”

Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott:

“After winning the toss, you obviously want to make inroads, so we’re pretty happy. The last two weeks have been a bit tough, although this is probably the best wicket out of the last three to bat on first.

“There’s going to be some hard work and it’s up to us to take the six remaining wickets as quickly as possible. For the first time this season I felt I got some decent rhythm.

“I’ve been fighting myself a bit – the body’s just getting used to these long spells again and long days in the field, which we’ve had over the last few weeks.”

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