Day one of the County Championship match between Middlesex and Yorkshire at Lord's was billed as a battle between many potential England Test match players. In truth though only one player, Steven Finn, can hold his head high after another outstanding display of fast bowling.
The conditions certainly favoured bowling but Finn made the most of them by producing figures of 4-50 after Middlesex had won the toss and asked Yorkshire to bat in testing conditions.
Finn has started this season in fine form after returning home from England's winter tour without bowling a ball in anger competitively. Clearly the rest that he has been granted, and the time that he has spent working on his game, has paid huge dividends for both him and Middlesex. England look set to also gain from Finn's new found confidence and form.
So far this season Finn has captured 19 wickets, which has included a five wicket and six wicket haul, in what is just his third County Championship game.
In this game Finn captured the prize wicket of Joe Root, for a five ball duck, on his return from a broken thumb. He also accounted for opener Adam Lyth and bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Steven Patterson as Yorkshire were dismissed for just 178 in the 59th over. Middlesex lost wickets themselves as they closed the day's play on 64-3 in reply.
The England selectors will be casting a watchful eye over this game but aside from Finn, on day one, nobody made a huge impression. Gary Ballance made only 20 runs before he was dismissed by James Harris whilst another England prospect, Sam Robson of Middlesex, made only seven runs as he was dismissed by Yorkshire's opening bowler Jack Brooks. Eoin Morgan will hope to build on his unbeaten 24 when play resumes tomorrow.
There is still time for all those pressing for an England spot to recover but the first day's play most certainly belonged to Steven Finn.
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