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Rawlins praises MCC bowlers as Essex toil

Ready to contribute: Delray Rawlins is batting at No 6 for MCC

Delray Rawlins and Marylebone Cricket Club dominated the opening day of the four-day Champion County Match against Essex at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Tuesday.

Led by Richard Gleeson’s five-wicket haul, that included a maiden first-class hat-trick, the MCC skittled the County Championship First Division champions for 187 in 68 overs to take early control of the traditional curtain-raiser to the English county season.

The Northamptonshire fast bowler claimed five for 50 during a devastating second spell with the pink ball that swung more under the floodlights in Bridgetown.

“Gleeson bowled very well,” Rawlins, the Sussex all-rounder, told The Royal Gazette. “When the lights came on the ball just started to do a bit more and he bowled nicely. The bowlers bowled well. They did the basics well and stuck it in some nice areas and got the rewards.”

Gleeson was brought back in the attack with Essex 130 for three and triggered a massive collapse that saw seven wickets fall for 57 runs. Nick Browne top scored for Essex, who elected to bat, with a sedated 48 from 105 balls. The MCC suffered an early wobble in their reply after losing two wickets with 47 runs on the scoreboard before Sam Northeast (35) and Sam Hain (5) put up the shutters to carry the MCC to 73 without further loss at stumps.

“The boys played well last night and just looking to carry that on,” said Rawlins, who is scheduled to bat at No 6 behind former England Test player Paul Collingwood.

The former St George’s Cup Match player is the first Bermudian to play for the MCC and along with George Garton, the left-arm fast bowler, is one of two Sussex players in the team.

Middlesex overcame a 153-run first innings deficit to secure a one-wicket triumph over MCC during the Champion County Match played in Abu Dhabi last year.