Martin Andersson’s previous best score in first-class games was 83 not out against Lancashire last September
Bob Willis Trophy, Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence (day one):
Middlesex 252: Andersson 92, Holden 36; Stevenson 4-71
Hampshire 27-2: Organ 11; Harris 2-8
Middlesex 2 pts, Hampshire 3 pts

Ryan Stevenson and Martin Andersson achieved career bests for their respective sides as Middlesex and Hampshire fought out an absorbing first day of their Bob Willis Trophy encounter at Radlett.

Devon-born seamer Stevenson, recalled for only his sixth first-class game, took 4-71 to double his first-class wicket tally, but Andersson, with just eight first-class matches behind him, hit 92 to take the hosts to 252 all out.

Their score seemingly justified Sam Northeast’s decision to bowl first, but James Harris struck twice to leave the visitors 27-23 in reply after a see-saw day of action.

Middlesex opted for two spinners on a pitch expected to turn late in the match, but humid conditions and some early seam movement rewarded Northeast’s faith.

In just the third over, Keith Barker bowled Sam Robson for a duck with a beauty which clipped the top of off-stump and Nick Gubbins, fresh from his hundred in the win over Surrey, also did not stay long.

The left-hander got away with one top-edged hook over the slips, only to play the shot again in the same over and hole out to Felix Organ at fine leg, giving James Fuller a wicket against his former county.

Stevenson got in on the act for the first time, trapping home skipper Stevie Eskinazi for 18, with Middlesex were struggling at 41-3

That was Andersson’s cue to enter the fray and he played positively from the off, steadying the ship in the company of opener Max Holden either side of the lunch interval.

Holden was dropped at slip by Ian Holland off the luckless Barker early in the afternoon, but the same combination accounted for the left-hander for 36, a wonderful catch taken just millimetres from the turf.

Andersson was given a life on 23 when Liam Dawson spilt a difficult chance at slip and he went on to reach 50 from 71 balls with eight fours.

Six more boundaries took Andersson past his previous best score and to within touching distance of a maiden first-class hundred, but he came up eight short when Fuller trapped him lbw.

Tom Helm (31) ensured a second batting point by striking Dawson for a towering straight six, but Dawson had him caught and bowled later in the same over.

With 14 overs left to the close, Hampshire looked set to get to the close unscathed before Harris found the edge of Organ’s bat and he was caught at second slip.

Barker was sent in as nightwatchman but that plan backfired when Harris struck a second time with one that splayed the stumps.

Match report supplied by PA Media.

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