May 25 2011 By Tim Street
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FORMER Middlesex man Owais Shah fell just four runs short of a ton against his old team-mates on day two at Essex today.
Having finished day one on 316-6, Middlesex added 69 more runs in the morning to finish on 385, with their own century hero, Sam Robson, adding 10 to his overnight score of 136 before being dismissed for 146.
Robson, who also scored his maiden ton against Essex, had rescued Middlesex on day one when the were floundering at 90-4. And not long after lunch on day two, Essex found themselves in an even worse position.
Tim Murtagh claimed the wickets of Jaik Mickleburgh and Mark Pettini, before Gareth Berg came in and dismissed Ravi Bopara (for one) and Matt Walker, leaving Essex on 85-4.
However, Shah led the hosts' recovery, teaming up with Adam Wheater for a fifth-wicket partnership of 65 which took them to 150-5 before Murtgah struck again and Wheater walked.
Shah narrowly survived a run-out as he brought up his half-century, and as he edged towards his ton he had two more close shaves, with Corey Collymore dropping him on 77, then surviving an appeal from Collymore, back at the crease, on 88.
But Shah, making his Essex debut after leaving Middlesex last year, saw his luck run out when he swung at another Collymore delivery, which went straight to John Simpson behind the stumps.
Collymore then dismissed Graham Napier, fresh from smashing 196 against Surrey, for just two, as the day closed with Essex on 235-7.