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Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 18:52 UK

Richardson puts Middlesex on top

County Championship, Div Two: Lord's (day one)
Middlesex 106-1 v Gloucestershire 218

Alan Richardson grabbed an impressive five-for as Middlesex took a firm hold on their County Championship match against Gloucestershire on day one.

The seamer's first five-wicket haul since May last year (5-34) helped skittle the visitors for 218.

David Brown top-scored with 68 from 128 balls, including six fours and two sixes, but it was a below-par effort.

Andrew Strauss fell for 43 in reply, but Middlesex finished the day on 106-1, a deficit of just 112 runs.

England Test opener Strauss and Billy Godleman had shared an opening stand of 77 before the former top-edged a pull straight to mid-on seven runs short of his half-century.

Godleman ended the day 40 not out alongside Ed Joyce, 21 not out, as Middlesex ended the day firmly on top.

Earlier, Tim Murtagh needed little time to make a breakthrough, trapping William Porterfield (5) lbw in the third over, before Richardson tempted Kadeer Ali, on nought, to play a loose drive which found the inside edge and clattered into the stumps.

Hamish Marshall, having taken 35 minutes and faced 25 balls to get off the mark and survived a dropped catch on nought, was next to fall, as Steve Finn trapped the former New Zealand player lbw playing across the line for a single.

Gloucestershire soon lost Chris Taylor for five, caught at forward short leg off Richardson, as they were reduced to 39-4, but Alex Gidman and Brown stemmed the tide.

However, Gidman, who had survived a dropped catch two balls previously, played on trying to leave a late outswinger from Murtagh when on 38.

Brown went on to complete his half-century, sharing important partnerships of 46 and 51 with Stephen Snell and Richard Dawson, before Snell edged to third slip for 31 and then Brown himself fell in the 54th over, beaten by a Finn in-swinger, as Gloucestershire quickly slumped to 218 all out.


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