• Malan ends century drought

    Dawid Malan made his first Championship hundred since the 2012 season for Middlesex against Northamptonshire, reports GARETH STEVENS.

    The elegant left-hand batsman hailing from the Cape went on to record his highest Championship score with an unbeaten 154 at the home of cricket. It was a test of character for Malan who had already fallen twice in the nineties this season.

    ‘I definitely had the nervous nineties,’ said Malan. ‘It really didn’t feel like I was going to get out of them to be honest.’

    Once Malan reached the milestone, his fluency returned and he led Middlesex to 488-9 before the declaration came. Northamptonshire were then reduced to 89-3 before rain brought a premature end to the second day’s play.

    If the weather holds, it will be an achievement for Northamptonshire to dodge defeat. It has been a disastrous season and the goal for Andrew Hall’s team must be to fight for every point in an attempt to avoid relegation.

    Ashwell Prince was unable to back up his unbeaten 257 last time out when he walked to the wicket against Somerset at Taunton. He made just 5 before being trapped in front by Alfonso Thomas. The South African bowled with exemplary control, claiming 3-34 in 23 overs as Lancashire were dismissed for 266.

    A strong reply saw Somerset reach stumps on day two trailing by 73 runs with 8 wickets in hand. Marcus Trescothick and Alviro Petersen are at the crease on 107 and 57 respectively. The hosts will look to push on and bat themselves into a winning position on day three.

    Jacques Rudolph strode to the crease full of confidence after two consecutive Championship centuries and once again guided Glamorgan’s innings. Rudolph was hit on the calf while on 16, which caused enough damage to require a runner for the rest of his knock. It eventually proved his undoing as he was run out for 88, just missing out on a third hundred in as many matches.

    The Welsh club finished day two on 222-6 in reply to Worcestershire’s 352. The pitch has already started to spin, so the second half of this encounter could well produce an entertaining result.

    Surrey didn’t miss the recently departed Hashim Amla in their first innings against Hampshire at the Oval. The London based club declared on 474-8 with Amla’s replacement, Tillakaratne Dilshan, chipping in with 69.

    None of the Hampshire bowlers looked particularly threatening. Kyle Abbott’s 1-82 in 23 overs was possibly the first time he’s struggled with the ball in the Championship all season.

    At stumps on day two Hampshire are 167-3, still 307 runs adrift. Unless the wicket starts to deteriorate, there may not be enough time to force a result in this encounter.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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