CHRIS Rogers and Sam Robson, two Australian batsmen with vastly different ambitions, shared an opening stand of 259 as Middlesex turned the tables on Surrey after being forced to follow on in their County Championship clash at Lord’s.
Rogers, the 35-year-old left-hander, hopes to return to the Australia side against England this summer after being included in their Ashes squad five years after he won his only cap against India at Perth.
Robson, 12 years his junior and a right-hander, will qualify for England by residence next year after deciding that he wants to play for them rather than Australia, who he represented at Under-19 level.
Both players completed their centuries off 185 balls, Rogers having hit nine boundaries and Robson 14.
And, by the time Robson was caught behind hooking at a short ball from Zander de Bruyn, they had turned Middlesex’s 172-run deficit into a lead of 87.
Robson had made 129 off 223 balls with 17 fours and, although Joe Denly was soon caught at second slip off Jade Dernbach, Rogers was still there at the close on Saturday.
He had scored 131 off 240 balls including 10 fours and will lead his side into the final day 111 ahead with eight wickets in hand.
It was not what Surrey captain Graeme Smith had in mind when De Bruyn claimed Middlesex’s last man Corey Collymore leg before in the third over and he sent them in again hoping that they would bat as ineptly as they had done the day before.