Wickets tumble on day one between Leics and Middlesex

Ben Mike in action for Leicestershire
Leicestershire bowled Middlesex for 86 on a bowler-friendly first day of their County Championship fixture [Getty Images]

Vitality County Championship Division Two, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (day one)

Leicestershire 179 & 40-1: Goldsworthy 41; Higgins 4-35, Roland-Jones 4-63 & 24-0

Middlesex 86: Mike 5-22, Green 4-28

Leicestershire 3 pts, Middlesex 3 pts

Match scorecard

Career-best bowling from Ben Mike (5-22) and loan signing Ben Green (4-28) enabled Leicestershire to dismiss Middlesex for 86 as the opening day of their Vitality County Championship match saw 21 wickets fall in bowler-friendly conditions.

Earlier, Ryan Higgins (4-35) and Toby Roland-Jones (4-63) led the way for Middlesex as Leicestershire were bowled out for 179 in the Division Two contest.

Lewis Goldsworthy (41) and Lewis Hill (36) shared a 65-run partnership for the third wicket before a collapse from 82-2 to 126-8 was rescued by fast bowler Scott Currie’s unbeaten 34.

Leicestershire had extended their lead to 133 by reaching the close at 40-1 after Sol Budinger, caught off a top-edged pull, was out for the second time in the day.

All-rounder Green is Somerset’s leading wicket-taker in the T20 Blast this season but has not figured in their red-ball side. He played three Championship matches for Leicestershire earlier in the season and is back at Grace Road as emergency cover for the latest round with seven senior members of the Foxes’ first-team squad either injured or unavailable.

Leicestershire had surprised some onlookers by opting to bat first, on a green pitch and with heavy cloud cover.

Both openers departed within the first seven overs. A rare failure from Rishi Patel, leg before half-forward to Roland-Jones for his first single-figure score of the season, preceded the departure of Budinger, who marked his first appearance of the season with two boundaries before edging Higgins to give Leus Du Plooy the first of three catches at second slip.

Ethan Bamber found some late swing from a ball that squared up Hill to have the Leicestershire captain caught at first slip, then Harry Swindells, like Budinger – making his seasonal debut – chopped on to Higgins two overs before lunch, leaving the home side 94-4.

Four more wickets tumbling in the first seven overs of the middle session as more edges flew to hand. Higgins had Goldsworthy snaffled by Du Plooy before Roland-Jones struck three times in as many overs.

Louis Kimber followed his epic, record-breaking 243 against Sussex last week with a 15-ball duck, caught at backward point off a leading edge, before Green edged to second slip and Ben Cox feathered one behind.

Middlesex were batting 12 overs before tea but were three down by the interval and 53-6 half an hour after the resumption, which made the 53 runs Leicestershire were able to add for their last two wickets look potentially invaluable.

Higgins dismissed Mike leg before and Henry Brookes had Matt Salisbury caught at third slip but Currie’s six boundaries gave their bowlers something to work with.

Mike found the edge to have Mark Stoneman caught at second slip in his first over and produced an inswinger missed by Sam Robson, before Green added to Middlesex’s problems.

Max Holden was caught behind off an inside edge from the Devonian’s second ball before his first two overs after tea included a near-unplayable delivery to bowl Higgins and one that took the edge of Josh De Caires’ bat to give Currie a catch at third slip.

Jack Davies was caught behind to give Green his fourth before Mike returned with three wickets in five overs, bowling Luke Hollman with a full delivery, trapping Roland-Jones leg before with a full toss, notching his second career five-for as Du Plooy fell for 28, bowled between bat and pad.

Salisbury completed the rout by bowling Bamber before the home side, batting positively, added 40 in nine overs with Budinger – who hit a six and two fours in his 18 – the only casualty.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network.