Bowlers on top during reduced third day

DAY 3 | Leicestershire CCC 36 for three v Middlesex CCC

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

REACTION | Leicestershire CCC batsman Harry Dearden spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps. The interview is available HERE

REPORT | Poor weather again caused problems on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship game between Leicestershire CCC and Middlesex CCC.

In the eleven overs of play, Leicestershire CCC were 36 for three with opener Hassan Azad battling his way to 17no.

Although the heavy rain which prevented play on either of the first two days finally relented, and the hard-working groundstaff managed to remove all the surface water, the outfield at the Fischer County Ground remained very soft and wet underfoot.

Umpires Steve O’Shaughnessy and Ulhas Gandhe inspected early in proceedings and no play was possible until 3.10pm.

It was little surprise that visiting captain Dawid Malan opted against a coin toss given the conditions.

The Foxes brought in Sam Evans for Callum Parkinson while Middlesex CCC had a trio of international bowlers in Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh while Tom Helm, who impressed in the first meeting of the sides at Lord’s, was also part of their attack.

County had a relatively quick start to the game with Azad posting six, including a boundary, from as many balls.

However, the third over of the game brought the first wicket as Paul Horton (0) was run out by a direct hit from George Scott.

Horton’s replacement, Evans (1), was making his first appearance of the 2019 season. He fell victim to the bowling of Murtagh as the delivery swung back in and knocked back the 21-year-old’s off stump.

Mark Cosgrove replaced Evans, and similarly to Azad, got off to a flying start with a quick boundary after pushing Murtagh down to fine-leg and over the rope from his first ball faced.

The players left the field just before 4 o’clock due to bad light. After a short interval, the players made their way out to get the game back underway.

Cosgrove (13) was then brilliantly caught by Malan at third slip from the bowling of Tom Helm. The ball flew off the outside edge in fading light and Malan held on to the sharpest of chances.

It wasn’t long before the covers were being prepared once again as spots of rain began falling on an already drenched Fischer County Ground. The precipitation got heavier, and the light did not improve, so the day was abandoned at 5.25pm.              

TEAM | Horton (capt), Azad, Evans, Cosgrove, Ackermann, Dearden, Dexter, Swindells (wk), Klein, Wright, Abbas.

Middlesex CCC | Malan (capt), Robson, Holden, Gubbins, Eskinazi, Stirling, Simpson (wk), Scott, Roland-Jones, Helm, Murtagh, Finn.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.

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