Dawid Malan celebrated his return from injury with an unbeaten century on the first day of the LV= County Championship Division One game between Nottinghamshire and Middlesex at Trent Bridge.
Malan, for whom this was only his second Championship game of the summer due to hand and groin injuries, held the Middlesex first innings together before joining forces with James Harris to add an unbeaten 147 for the eighth wicket.
The gifted left-hander came to the crease at 25 for 2, in the eighth over, and carried his bat to the close. Middlesex, who came into the game in third place, will resume on day two on 312 for 7.
The way Middlesex finished the day came in stark contrast to the manner in which they began it. Notts, having made four changes to the side that defeated Worcestershire in the Championship last week, dominated the early overs courtesy of seamers Luke Wood and Jake Ball. Wood, bowling from the Pavilion End, sent back Joe Burns at 7 for 1, before Ball trapped Sam Robson lbw, for 15, at 25 for 2.
As Notts tightened their early grip, Nick Compton, who was dropped at slip by Brendan Taylor, edged Brett Hutton to Chris Read off the very next ball and Eoin Morgan, who looked totally out of sorts, suffered the same fate, off the bowling of Wood. Harry Gurney picked up two wickets after lunch, as Middlesex went from 105 for 3 to 165 for 7, shortly before tea.
Despite the disappointment of seeing wickets tumble around him, Malan carried on regardless. He passed 50 off 79 balls and then, as tea beckoned, posted his first first-class century of the summer off 143 balls with 16 fours. He punished anything full or wide and with Harris, continued to make light work of a tiring Notts’ attack.
The pair added 50 off 86 balls and 100 off 183, with 25-year-old Harris looking anything but a number nine. The former Glamorgan seamer reached 50 off 108 balls and at the close, was 68 not out. Malan, who brought up his 150 off 223 balls, was unbeaten on 159.
Malan did survive one scare, before lunch, when Samit Patel put down a sharp opportunity at point, but thereafter, batted with genuine authority to leave Middlesex in a position they could only have dreamed of midway through the second session.