Middlesex opener Nick Gubbins declared himself satisfied after he led his side’s revival against reigning champions Yorkshire as day one of their potential title decider at Lord’s ended with the tussle finely poised.
Gubbins was dropped on 22 but finished unbeaten on 120 as leaders Middlesex recovered from a precarious 97-4 to reach 208-5 before bad light brought a premature end to the day’s play. Yorkshire paceman Jack Brooks claimed 3-45.
Both sides have earned one bonus point so far. Victory would hand Middlesex their first County Championship title since 1993, while Yorkshire would snatch a third successive crown with a win, as long as they at least matched Somerset’s points haul.
“It ended up being a pretty even day,” said Gubbins, 22, who has earned an England Lions call-up this winter. “It was testing to be put into bat. The pitch is pretty good but there was movement all day.
“If you’d given us that at the start of the day I think we’d have taken it in those conditions. But in the position we’re in now we’re looking for 300.
“You can score all the runs you want on a flat featherbed at Lord’s when the sun’s out, but it means more when the conditions are tougher.”
The other team in the equation are third-placed Somerset who added three batting bonus points to their tally after amassing 322-9 on the opening day of their clash with already-relegated Nottinghamshire.
James Hildreth and Chris Rogers both hit centuries, although Somerset endured an alarming slump, slipping from 302-2 to 322-9. Somerset need to beat Nottinghamshire to have any chance of winning the title.