A delightful start to the new season for Northamptonshire after no toss as expected at Wantage Road.
The wicket’s greenish tinge would have been viewed with relish by a Middlesex pace attack that was welcoming back Steve Finn and Toby Roland-Jones from long injury layoffs.
It was old warhorse Tim Murtagh that made the breakthrough though, nipping one back to beat the inside edge of Rob Newton’s forward defence.
And it was Murtagh’s return for a second spell that eventually saw off Ricardo Vasconcelos, who nicked off while defending the top of off stump.
The Middlesex attack, who all had the ball coming out nicely at the start of the new season, will begin the next session looking for a little more consistency on that precise length.