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Middlesex make strong start to title defence

PUBLISHED: 08:16 15 April 2017 | UPDATED: 08:16 15 April 2017

Middlesex's Sam Robson celebrates a half century (pic PA)

Middlesex's Sam Robson celebrates a half century (pic PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Duo make half-centuries aganist Hampshire

Half-centuries from Sam Robson and Steve Eskinazi helped defending Specsavers County Championship champions Middlesex reach 290-6 on the first day of their opening match of the season at Hampshire.

The second-wicket pair put on a century stand at the Ageas Bowl, before both were dismissed in the 80s, as the visitors lost four wickets in the evening session.

Robson began well, hitting three early boundaries but saw opening partner Nick Gubbins caught at slip by Rilee Rossouw after a fine ball from Fidel Edwards, who subsequently limped off with a hamstring injury in his sixth over.

Robson was dropped by Rossouw, who also left the field with a hand injury, and went to his fifth in 82 balls, before edging Gareth Berg to Jimmy Adams at second slip on 84.

Dawid Malan hit two sixes and four fours in a quick 43 off 57 balls before he was the third man to fall, edging Brad Wheal to Sean Ervine after tea.

Eskinazi followed for 82 soon after, as Ervine hit the top of off stump, and Middlesex saw Adam Voges play a delivery from Kyle Abbott on to his own stumps after a cameo 24.

When John Simpson hit Wheal to substitute fielder Mason Crane, Middlesex had lost four wickets for 49 runs, before captain James Franklin and Toby Roland-Jones saw them through to the close without any more damage being done.

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