|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood (day two):|
|Middlesex 172 & 96-3: Eskinazi 37; Higgins 3-16|
|Gloucestershire 201: Higgins 61*; Roland-Jones 7-52|
|Middlesex (4 pts) lead Gloucestershire (3 pts) by 67 runs with seven wickets standing|
Ryan Higgins was Gloucestershire’s star on day two, rallying to save their first innings and then taking three key Middlesex wickets with the ball.
Glos were all out for 201, including Benny Howell going for a second-ball duck, with the only knocks of note from Higgins (61) and Gareth Roderick (40).
Middlesex were three down to Higgins in 24 overs, losing openers Sam Robson and Steve Eskinazi and then Nick Gubbins.
Only 23 more runs were made before bad light brought stumps at 96-3.
England paceman Toby Roland-Jones was Middlesex’s most impressive bowler, taking five wickets in the day to finish with a career-best 7-52.
The hosts will resume on day three 67 runs ahead with seven wickets of their second innings in hand.
Middlesex assistant coach Nic Pothas told BBC Radio London:
“The game is probably around level now. The nature of the first innings means it’s become a one innings game.
“People will look at the wickets and presume Toby has found his mojo. That actually started happening last week at Derby, where in the second innings that zip was back.
“Toby has had a lot of catches dropped off him, but he has stayed so positive and is such a level individual.
“He is one of those blokes where everyone is ecstatic when he does well, so we are over the moon.”