Chris Read century puts Notts in strong position

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Chris Read helped himself to a second century of the season as Nottinghamshire dominated day three of their LV= County Championship game against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.

Having passed three figures for the first time this summer, in the four-day game between the sides at Lord’s, back in April, the Notts captain was at it again, this time on home soil.

Having been dropped on 54, the 36-year-old former England wicket keeper went on to score 108 from 206 balls as Notts built a useful first innings lead.

Resuming on their overnight score of 180 for 4, Notts found themselves in a spot of trouble when Samit Patel was bowled, in the third over of the day, at 184 for 5 and Steven Mullaney holed out to Tim Murtagh off Ollie Rayner 45 runs later. At that stage, they still trailed Middlesex by 145.

However, despite losing 15 overs to rain, Notts pushed on after lunch with Read and Brett Hutton adding 157 for the seventh wicket.

Read, who missed six weeks of the season from the middle of May due to a hamstring injury, struck eight fours in reaching his half century, off 101 balls, and posted three figures for the first time since mid April, off 190 balls. Having been dropped at slip by Ollie Rayner on 54 – a sharp chance to Rayner’s right hand - he eventually fell to Toby Roland-Jones, at 386 for 7.

The captain’s job was made all the more easy by Hutton, who batted beautifully to post his highest first class score of 72. The 22-year-old bowling all-rounder brought up his own half century off 121 balls, with seven fours, and looked comfortable throughout against a Middlesex attack that offered precious little as the day wore on.

Hutton continued to bat with due care and attention after his skipper’s departure and with Luke Wood, who was dropped on 0 off the bowling of Dawid Malan, he added 25 for the eighth wicket. However, he finally departed at 419 for 9 and at that juncture Notts declared with a first innings lead of 45. Middlesex opener Sam Robson and nightwatchman James Harris successfully negotiated the final two overs of the evening and trail Notts by 38 runs with all 10 second innings wickets in hand.