The Indianpost

Scott Newman puts Middlesex in strong position against

Such has been Scott Newman’s poor form this season, it has been all too easy to forget that a few years ago he was being talked about as a possible England international.

At 31 he is highly unlikely to be talked about in those terms again, but the Londoner retains that languid timing peculiar to innately talented left-handers, and he displayed it to full effect in putting Middlesex into a potentially strong position in this Division Two top-of-the-table match.

Given Newman seems to reserve his better innings for these particular opponents, Northants must have feared the worst as, in partnership with Sam Robson, Newman began slowly.

Once Andrew Hall brought himself on to bowl, however, Newman’s acceleration was rapid as he moved to 95 out of 143 before being given out, to his plainly expressed bewilderment, caught behind cutting at a short, wide delivery from James Middlebrook. With Robson going with the team on the same score, Northants at least ended an otherwise disappointing day on a positive note.

Resuming on 145 for three after a weather-disrupted first day, the league leaders continued to find batting hard going against a Middlesex seam attack which worked diligently to make the most of a pitch that continued to give them encouragement.

David Sales went before adding to his overnight score, edging a Corey Collymore outswinger to the wicketkeeper, Hall gloved a Toby Roland-Jones lifter to first slip, and Tim Murtagh cut one back to trap Middlebrook leg-before to leave the home team on 226 for six at lunch.

That score would have been a lot less were it not for the efforts of Rob Newton whose century, off 177 balls, was his first in the championship this season and second in his short first-class career.

The 21-year-old is not the most stylish of batsmen but his application was impressive, making it all the more surprising when he wafted at Steven Crook’s wide loosener after lunch and under-edged a catch to John Simpson behind the stumps.

That only 19 runs were scored in the 17 overs after lunch may have been down to the accuracy of the Middlesex bowlers, but it might also have had something to do with Northants being fully aware that a draw would not be such a bad result.

The dismissal of Chaminda Vaas, who played on to Collymore, prompted David Murphy to finally play a few shots, but he ran out of partners before Northants could pick up a third batting point.

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