May 24 2011 By Tim Street
AN UNBEATEN century from Sam Robson in his first County Championship innings of the season dragged Middlesex out of another potentially disastrous opening day.
Only last Thursday, Middlesex were skittled out for just 150 in the first day of their clash with Glamorgan at Lord's.
And today, things did not look good when Dan Housego, Dawid Malan and Neil Dexter all fell in quick succession to leave Middlesex struggling at 90-4 in the opening day et Essex.
But Robson, opening with Chris Rogers as Andrew Strauss was back on England duty and Scott Newman dropped, batted through the day to rescue his side and take them to 316-6.
Half-centuries from Jamie Dalrymple (52) and John Simpson (65) helped Robson rebuild the innings, with century stands for the fifth and sixth wickets.
Both eventually fell to Graham Napier, who also accounted for Housego, Malan and Dexter in an impressive five-wicket haul, while Ravi Bopara accounted for Rogers, with Anthony Ireland partnering Robson at the close of play.