Batsman of the Day
Eoin Morgan has one last chance to stake a claim for a Test recall on Championship form, assuming his place in the one-day squad to be named today is assured. The Irishman made 86 against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s last month but remains without a century in the Championship since the third of his three – all in the Second Division, incidentally – for Middlesex, against Leicestershire in April 2009.
He owes Middlesex one in this match, having run out partner Dawid Malan on 92. At the close, he was unbeaten on 76, having shared a partnership so far unbroken at 94 with Neil Dexter, who added 44 not out to his 6 for 63 with the ball and assured Middlesex of a first-innings lead.
Bowler of the Day
To say Surrey’s start to life in the Second Division has fallen below expectations would be putting it politely. Five matches into the new season, with no wins and only five batting points won, they are scarcely showing signs of an imminent return to the First Division, despite the return to action of their skipper, Graeme Smith, and the arrival of new head coach Graham Ford, the highly-rated former coach of the Sri Lankan national team.
Yet thanks to a fine spell of bowling from Chris Tremlett the tide may be about to turn. Tremlett bowled at speed and with good use of the bouncer to take five wickets in as many overs to turn the match with Gloucestershire at The Oval on its head, reducing the visitors from 106 for 1 to 133 for 6.
Oddly enough, it was the first time he had taken five or more wickets in an innings for Surrey at home. He added another to finish with 6 for 59 as Gloucestershire were all out for 230 in their second innings, leaving Surrey to chase 267 to win.
As well as being the wicketkeeper’s career best, Ben Brown’s 163 for Sussex against Durham was also the highest ever score made by any Sussex No 7 in first-class cricket, overtaking the 159 made by Jim Parks against Kent in 1950.