Middlesex succumb to tourists' Waugh power

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The Independent Online
Middlesex 305 Australians 351-6

The brothers Waugh, messianic figures to an adoring Australian cricket public and not a few fellow professionals, spent between them the best part of two sessions preaching their stylish, high class cricket to a sizeable Lord's congregation. A fervent 5,000 or so feasted on meaty drives and prime cuts as Mark and Steve put on 100 runs between them for the fourth wicket.

That Steve fell short of expectation (although he still managed a fine half-century) while Mark went on to make a century did not matter. While they were together they entertained. And as much as they tried Middlesex just could not stem the flow of runs.

It was Mark who won the race to 50, but he already had 11 to his name when his twin arrived at the crease. Steve eventually caught him up, even overtaking his brother with his eighth boundary. But three balls after an on-drive had brought him his ninth, and having rained blows on Middlesex for 109 minutes, Steve attempted a cut only to find gully blocked by Mike Gatting, who held a fine catch.

While not exactly galvanising Mark, who had not made a scoring stroke for 10 overs after reaching 50, it certainly woke him up to the fact that the tourists were still not ahead. When Angus Fraser had another dart at them, this time from the Pavilion End, Waugh opened up again. He unleashed some stunning straight drives to set things off again.

As the shadows and Middlesex faces grew longer, Waugh guided them into the lead. He left his hundred a little on the late side, reaching three figures off the last delivery of the 99th and final over of the day. A single sufficed to give him his second century of the tour after three and a half hours at the crease. In all he faced 146 balls and hit a six and 16 fours.

The groundwork had been laid by an excellent contribution from opener Matthew Elliott. The left-hander was in imperious form, dominating the morning session and wowing the crowd with the precision of his cuts.

For Middlesex Keith Dutch finished with three wickets, while Phil Tufnell wheeled away heroically for 35 overs of slow left-arm which went for a miserly 2 for 88, but the day belonged to the bat, and in particular the Brotherhood.

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