Middlesex hit back after Brooks’ five-wicket haul for Yorkshire

Jack Brooks took five wickets for Yorkshire. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
Jack Brooks took five wickets for Yorkshire. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA Wire.
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Jack Brooks led the way for Yorkshire with a five-wicket haul as the County Champions bowled out table-toppers Middlesex for 212 on the first day of LV=County Championship match at Headingley.

But Middlesex soon hit back with quick wickets of their own as Yorkshire dipped to 52 for four and ended an eventful day on 96 for four.

Winning the toss on a dry batting surface tinged with green, Middlesex would have been in even deeper trouble but for a studious knock of 70 from Nick Compton off 153 balls with nine boundaries.

Both sides went into the game unbeaten, Yorkshire being without Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett who were both on England one-day international duty along with Middlesex’s Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn.

Yorkshire had hoped to have veteran left-arm paceman back in the side after a calf injury but he experienced stiffness during the pre-match practice session and was replaced by Will Rhodes.

Brooks, sharing the new ball with Tim Bresnan, was straight into the groove from the start and in his second over he had Joe Burns palpably lbw, but Middlesex were steadied by a patient stand of 62 between Sam Robson and Compton.

Robson was the more attacking, particularly through mid-wicket where he picked up his first four boundaries, but Compton was pedestrian by comparison, moving into double figures with his first boundary off his 28th delivery and then taking a further 26 balls to add to his score.

It looked as if the pair would see out the morning session until Robson was bowled by a beauty from Brooks which took middle and off and at lunch Middlesex were still reasonably in control at 83 for two.

But the situation changed rapidly in the afternoon, Dawid Malan receiving a fine ball from Steven Patterson which he edged to wicket-keeper, Jonny Bairstow, who then caught Neil Dexter off Brooks before he had scored.

Compton, looking mainly unperturbed, completed his 50 just after Australian all-rounder, Glenn Maxwell, had been brought on, and the off-spinner claimed three quick wickets to leave Middlesex in disarray on 147 for seven.

James Franklin and John Simpson departed in the space of three balls and after Ollie Rayner plundered five boundaries in quick succession off Maxwell he was then bowled through his legs.

Jack Leaning held on to a splendid slip catch at the second attempt to end Compton’s defiance and bring Brooks his fourth wicket and after Toby Roland-Jones had gone to Patterson,

Brooks rounded things off as Harris hooked him to long leg.

Yorkshire were soon in dire straits themselves, a rapid start by Lyth and Lees fizzling out as both were caught low at second slip by Rayner in consecutive overs from Roland Jones and Tim Murtagh and when Gary Ballance and Andrew Gale fell lbw to Murtagh and Harris respectively the Champions were up against it.

Bairstow and Leaning, however, both in prime form, ensured there were no further setbacks before the close.