Match Day Centre Pakistan lead England by 131 runs with 5 wickets remaining

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Rayner spins Middlesex into the lead

Rayner spins Middlesex into the lead

Middlesex are in the ascendancy after Ollie Rayner picked up three wickets to help reduce Sussex to 147/7 on day two of their LV= County Championship match, having declared earlier in the day on 499/8.

Rayner removed captain Ed Joyce, Matt Prior and Ben Brown to rip through the away side's middle order with his off spin and leave them still trailing Chris Rogers' outfit by 352 runs with just three wickets left in their first innings.

It wasn't without controversy however, as Prior - who was caught by Sam Robson, fielding close to the wicket off Rayner - walked off the Lord's outfield in a disgruntled mood as the England keeper clearly felt that the young Australian hadn't gathered the ball cleanly with his catch.

However, to dwell on that dismissal would not do justice to Middlesex who have outplayed their table-topping rivals on the first two days of this match.

The home side began the day on 320/3 with Rogers adding 23 to his overnight score before he was caught by Michael Yardy off the bowling of Steve Magoffin, finishing on 184.

Club captain Neil Dexter continued as he had the day before and hit Middlesex's second century of the innings with an accomplished 104 before Rogers called his men in with the score at 499/8.

With the pitch starting to turn and the forecast set fair for the next two days, Sussex have a mountain to climb to try and muster anything from this game.

Joyce's decision to bowl on the first morning now looks even more bewlidering at the close of day two.

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