Middlesex won the toss and batted, and quite a while after lunch of day 2 they were in the position to declare. Unbelievable. Included in this 442-8 declaration were amazingly useful contributions with the bat by the top order, but also by the bowlers Berg and Murtagh, who are having a really good time at the moment, as they also proved last week against Glamorgan. Impressive.
Captain Udal just delayed the declaration until the young wicketkeeper-batsman John Simpson had reached his maiden first class century, and Simpson didn't have him wait for too long; he finished his mature and well-constructed innings in style with a boundary.
Now on the start of day 3 Northamptonshire stand at 178-4. A tough job lies ahead of Middlesex, who have only got two days left to get Northamptonshire out 1.5 times and bat again, too. This is the type of situation that makes you wish that first class matches lasted five days. Unfortunately IOB is missing out also with a niggle, but nevertheless he contributed his part via comment. Speaking of which, I'm dearly missing the cannonade of Cossy jokes this week.
If all goes well the bowlers will strike quickly now and MS can rush in to bat. It would be a shame to finish this match on a draw. After all, MS managed only once to get past 400 last season.
On a sidenote, the grapevine reports that Broad took five wickets. Yeah he does that once a year, after all he needs to pretend he's a bowler.
But now we want to see more of this:
The illegitimate son of John Cleese and Michael Palin. Seriously.