Taylor and Mullaney give Nottinghamshire hope as Middlesex dominate

Half centuries from Brendan Taylor and Steven Mullaney kept Nottinghamshire in the game on the second day of their LV= County Championship game against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.

Although Middlesex had the better of their hosts for much of the day, Taylor’s 77 and Mullaney’s unbeaten 56 left Nottinghamshire 194 runs behind Middlesex with six first innings wickets in tact.

Having resumed on their overnight score of 312 for 7, Middlesex pushed on during the morning session courtesy of eighth wicket pair Dawid Malan and James Harris.

In the end, Harris, who looked at ease throughout his three hour stay at the crease, was bowled by Brett Hutton, for 73 off 168 balls.

Toby Roland-Jones struck three fours in reaching a quick-fire 14 before he became Hutton’s third victim of the innings, at 356 for 9. Eighteen runs later, Middlesex were all out when Harry Gurney trapped Tim Murtagh lbw. Malan, who batted without equal on day one, carried his bat to finish unbeaten on 182, off 270 balls.

Notts, who won a Championship game for only the second time this season, against Worcestershire last week, made a decent start to their reply before losing Alex Hales to Harris at 40 for 1. Michael Lumb departed soon after when he felt for a James Franklin delivery outside the off stump and offered a regulation catch to wicket keeper John Simpson. It was Harris’ 50th Championship wicket of the summer.

Brendan Taylor, who scored over 100 runs in the Championship game against Worcestershire last week, celebrated his second half century in three knocks, off 92 balls.

The Zimbabwean, once again, looked in decent shape until Franklin, at 145 for 3, found a way through his previously impeccable defence. Two balls later, Franklin was celebrating again – Riki Wessels caught and bowled without scoring. At that stage, Notts were staring down the barrel. However, when the bad light gave way to brighter skies, they held their nerve and finished the day in decent fettle thanks to an unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 35 between Mullaney and Samit Patel.

In the face of some aggressive bowling from the likes of Franklin and Harris, Mullaney took up the challenge and reached 50 from 92 balls, with seven fours.

When bad light came, for the second time in the day, to bring a premature end, Notts had progressed to 180 for 4 with Mullaney 56 not out and Patel 12 not out.