Heavenly days like yesterday are meant for winning the toss and not only batting but batting well. Middlesex seized the moment on a dry firm pitch here and the result was a dazzling, high-class display that tended to expose the lack of variety in Nottinghamshire's attack.
Under a blazing sun, the ball was stroked, caressed, nudged and bludgeoned to all parts. Owais Shah made a composed third hundred of the season, Stephen Fleming took 22 off an over from Andy Harris at the height of the mayhem and there is probably more to come today. Nottinghamshire must have regretted not putting the new ball in the right place often enough when the pitch still retained a hint of greenness. The dismissal of Robin Weston, undone by extra bounce from Harris, showed what could happen.
Instead, half volleys and leg side deliveries were the order of the day. Andy Strauss set out Middlesex's agenda by picking off 67 with 16 fours. When, for once, he played less than straight it cost him his off stump.
Shah's on-driving was magical and he reached three figures with an effortless pick up for six off David Lucas. He and Fleming added 206 in 47 overs before Shah's concentration wavered in the heat. But Fleming dug in again after reaching his hundred from 145 balls.Reuse content