Lord's (2nd day of four): Middlesex 300 (S D Udal 91, Kabir Ali 5-58) v Worcestershire 350-9 (B F Smith 93) 

Worcestershire batsman Ben Smith again fell frustratingly short of his first century for two years as the visitors secured a useful first-innings lead after the second day in their LV County Championship Division Two match with Middlesex at Lord’s.

Smith, who scored 99 against Glamorgan last week, was this time dismissed on 93 when he was deceived by the spin from Murali Kartik and caught at silly point from a defensive push forward.

Worcestershire began the day on nine without loss, having bowled Middlesex out for 300 on the first day, and reached stumps on 350 for nine.

Daryl Mitchell and Stephen Moore shared an opening partnership of 50 before Middlesex struck courtesy of Danny Evans. The Middlesex seamer tempted Moore, on 21, into a drive which found the edge and went to Ed Joyce at third slip.

Evans was then unlucky to see Vikram Solanki dropped at fine leg in the 18th over but unfortunately for the visitors the former England batsman was soon back in the pavilion after scoring 17.

Again Evans found the edge, and this time the ball went straight to Ben Scott behind the stumps.

Middlesex struck again just before lunch with the score on 76, as Mitchell (31) became the third wicket to fall, beaten by a full-length delivery from Tim Murtagh and trapped leg before wicket.

The in-form Murtagh then struck again in the 38th over when he removed Graeme Hick for 15. The veteran former England man tried to steer the ball through the off side but mistimed the shot and drove straight to Eoin Morgan at backward point.

Smith completed his half-century from 83 balls in the 44th over with successive boundaries off Evans and then featured in successive 50-plus partnerships, firstly with Steven Davies and then Gareth Batty.

The fifth wicket fell when Davies on 22 was caught at silly point to give Shaun Udal his first wicket and then, with the score on 260, Batty was stupidly run out for 39 after a mix-up with Smith.

Former England spinner Batty had struck a massive six off Udal two balls previously but was then beaten by a brilliant piece of fielding at backward square as he set off for a quick single, finishing short of his crease.

The eighth wicket fell in the 88th over when Kabir Ali holed out to mid-on for nine, giving Evans his third wicket of the innings.
Tail-enders Matt Mason and Gareth Andrew then steered the visitors to 349 before Mason was the ninth man out for 25 just before the close.