Nottinghamshire scored 278 on the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Trent Bridge, having been put in to bat. In the two overs that remained at the end of the day the visitors reached 12-0.
James Taylor scored 55 for the home sides but was outscored by Australia’s Ed Cowan, who made 61 on his county debut.
The opening over of the new season could hardly have been more eventful. Bowled by Tim Murtagh, it produced fifteen runs.
"I stuck to my plans and usually play my best cricket when I’m being positive which I tried to be today." Ed Cowan
Alex Hales worked the third delivery down to third man for a hard-run three, bringing Cowan on to strike. The left-handers first delivery was guided backward of square to the shorter boundary on the Fox Road side. He then drove the next two balls to the fence to herald a fine start to his Notts career.
“I thought about walking off at that stage,” laughed Cowan afterwards. “Twelve runs off three balls, you can only go downhill from there. I’m really happy with how I played. I stuck to my plans and usually play my best cricket when I’m being positive which I tried to be today.
“I’m disappointed to leave a few runs out there. I got to sixty and would have liked to have got a really big score to set us up in the game but that’s how it goes. You have to take the good with the bad.
“It’s a really good cricket surface, you could put the bad ball away, there was swing and seam movement all day but the key attribute was the decent pace and bounce in the wicket.”
Alex Hales (20) was watchful for the first hour of the day before perishing in the fourteenth over, nibbling at one from Toby Roland-Jones which flew low down to Dawid Malan at slip.
Michael Lumb, who scored 162 in the corresponding fixture last season, then fell first ball. Rattled by a full delivery on the pad he was sent on his way by umpire Mallender, perhaps a little unluckily.
In to face the hat-trick delivery, with an attacking field set, James Taylor drove his first ball down the ground for 3 to get off the mark.
Cowan’s half century (60 balls, 9x4) came up at the end of the 20th over as he slashed away on the offside. A parry from Neil Dexter at point prevented a boundary but the three was enough to take him to his milestone.
Batting through the entire first session Cowan was on 60, out of the lunch-time score of 95-2 but he fell shortly after the resumption, flicking Roland-Jones into the hands of Berg at square leg.
Taylor had reached 14 by lunch and he then dug in with Samit Patel to ensure there were no further calamities as the pair added 60 in 25.3 overs as the Middlesex attack maintained their disciplines.
A rare loose delivery brought about the next breakthrough as Roland-Jones began a new spell. His first ball back was ill-directed but induced Patel into attempting a legside flick, only to nick it behind to Simpson.
A leading edge off Neil Dexter accounted for Taylor and Riki Wessels (30) was soon responsible for his own downfall, being run out going for a third that was never on.
That dismissal exposed Ajmal Shahzad (4) to the second new ball and he became Roland-Jones’ fifth victim in the first over after it had been taken.
Andre Adams, playing his 150th first class match, bludgeoned his way to 14 before picking out Chris Rogers at long on. Luke Fletcher also made 14, before Chris Read (34) was last out, giving Roland-Jones career-best figures of 6-63.
The day ended as it began, with three boundaries coming from the final over, all by Sam Robson off the bowling of Shahzad.