Agarkar's lightning strikes thrice for Middlesex

Gloucestershire 133-4 v Middlesex

Darkness fell early over NW8, a merciful finish to a day that ended as it had begun, with rain. It was frustrating for the thrusting young attackers of third-placed Middlesex, who had acquitted themselves well in the 45 overs permitted by the weather in this First Division Championship match.

Darkness fell early over NW8, a merciful finish to a day that ended as it had begun, with rain. It was frustrating for the thrusting young attackers of third-placed Middlesex, who had acquitted themselves well in the 45 overs permitted by the weather in this First Division Championship match.

Middlesex were without the Australian paceman Glenn McGrath, who must sit out this match, and there was still no Chad Keegan. After the early departure of Craig Spearman it took the home side a while to make further inroads. But by the stormy close, second-placed Gloucestershire were in trouble, having found themselves on the wrong end of a telling spell by the stand-in overseas bowler Ajit Agarkar.

The action on the pitch, after a delayed start which cost four overs, veered between uninspiring and dull. The real drama was provided by the two thunderstorms, when the heavens unleashed volleys of lightning bolts.

The heavy rain that accompanied the thunder and lightning the first time drove everyone off for more than two hours, a break that cost 30 overs, and when the players re-emerged, Gloucestershire were jolted by Agarkar's version of a lightning strike when he conjured up some reverse swing and bowled Alex Gidman with a leg-stump yorker, second ball after the restart.

That wrapped up a spell of 3 for 9 off 19 balls, which had begun with the dismissal of the Australian Mike Hussey, who had resembled an immovable object while he and the human limpet Philip Weston chiselled out a stand of 79 for the second wicket in 25 dour overs.

Hussey, who scored almost 1,700 runs for Northamptonshire in the Championship last season in just 14 matches, emulated the admirable Weston and got his head down and grafted for an hour and three-quarters.

The Aussie left-hander took a liking to the left-armer Paul Hutchison, pulling him for four to take Gloucestershire past 50, then hoisting him over long leg for six to bring up his side's 100.

Shortly afterwards, though, he drove Agarkar's fourth ball of his second spell straight to Sven Koenig at cover and departed. When the Gloucestershire captain, Chris Taylor, unwisely shouldered arms to the Indian paceman just before the storm struck, his side looked wobbly and they were positively shaken when Gidman went after the break.

Shortly after that came the second torrential storm that wrapped it up for the day.

News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape