Jul 29 2011 By Tim Street
STEVEN Finn might have made the headlines with his mad dash from Trent Bridge – but Tim Murtagh stole the bowling glory back at Lord's for Middlesex today.
Finn, having taken five Derbyshire wickets in yesterday's CB40 League fixture, was called up by England as a late replacement for the injured Chris Tremlett, but drove back down from Trent Bridge when deemed surplus to requirements for the Test against India.
But by the time he arrived back at Lord's as Middlesex opened their County Championship game against Derbyshire, Murtagh had already made his mark.
With the first ball of the day, he claimed the wicket of Martin Guptill (caught by Jamie Dalrymple) – pre-empting James Anderson's feat later at Trent Bridge.
Wayne Madsen also went for a duck soon after, becoming Murtagh's second victim as Dawid Malan's catch reduced the visitors to 9-2.
And they were left reeling at 14-3 when Murtagh struck again, Neil Dexter producing a brilliant diving catch, and the game barely half an hour old.
A fourth wicket partnership of 114 between Wes Durston and Greg Smith gave Derbyshire some hope before Finn, having just arrived on the pitch, removed Durston LBW with his third delivery.
Not to be outdone, Murtagh then caught Smith LBW too, finishing his day's efforts with impressive figures of 4-45 from 13 overs, three of which were maidens.
Finn then clean-bowled Luke Sutton, after which wickets began to fall regularly as Tom Smith took over proceedings and helped mop up the tail.
Smith conceded just four runs in removing Jon Clare, Tim Groenewald and Tony Palladino, finishing on 3-38, also from 13 overs and with three maidens.
But Finn was not finished and took the final wicket, that of Ross Whiteley, to finish on 3-51 from 14.2 overs, with four maidens – Derbyshire making 252.
By stumps, Scott Newman and Sam Robson had made good inroads into that total, Newman making Championship 50 of the season and Robson just two runs short of his half-century as Middlesex made 150-0.