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Specsavers County Championship

Middlesex CCC v Lancashire CCC, Lord's

Middlesex CCC Mid
V
Lancashire CCC Lancs
233 all out
165 all out
First Innings
152 all out
184 all out
Second Innings

Lancashire CCC - Specsavers County Championship

  • Day 1

    Report: Middlesex v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Fifteen wickets fell during an all-action opening day that despite its thrills and spills fell short in terms of application and technique as Division One rivals Middlesex and Lancashire crossed swords in the Specsavers County Championship at Lord’s.

    Responding in the day’s third session to a Middlesex all-out total of 233, Lancashire went in at stumps on 113 for five after 34 overs - still trailing by 120 runs.

    Having dismissed the hosts inside 62 overs and two sessions, Lancashire went out after tea to lose both openers to consecutive deliveries and with only 22 on the board. Haseeb Hameed was trapped lbw by Toby Roland-Jones, then, to the first ball of Tim Murtagh’s next over, Alex Davies padded up to a straight one to also go leg before.

    Dane Vilas scored only five before a shooting Murtagh off-cutter crept between bat and pad to rearrange the stumps, then Steven Finn enticed Liam Livingstone with a short one well outside off that the right-hander cut straight into the hands of Nick Compton at backward point.

    Red rose skipper Steven Croft and ‘crab-like’ veteran Shiv Chanderpaul dug in for 10 overs in adding 39 until Roland-Jones returned at the Pavilion End to have Chanderpaul well held in the cordon by Voges for the final wicket of the day. Moreover, Roland-Jones left the field for treatment soon afterwards.

    The day started with two surprise decisions by Middlesex who, after dropping their skipper James Franklin, then elected to bat first after acting captain Adam Voges won the toss.

    Having seen extensive cracks to the surface of this Lord’s pitch, Voges clearly didn’t fancy the task of batting last. Yet, going in first hardly proved a walk in the park either as the hosts skid to 28 for four.

    Compton’s miserable run of form continued with a second ball duck to the eighth ball of the game. Jumping back and across his stumps and working to leg, the deposed England opener missed to be sent packing lbw to Ryan McLaren.

    The South Africa all-rounder struck again in his third over, dismissing Sam Robson with a lifting leg-cutter that Robson duly followed and feathered to the keeper Davies.

    Stevie Eskinazi fenced to third slip against Tom Bailey, who also accounted for Dawid Malan on the cheap. Caught on the crease, the left-hander came down late on a ‘fourth stump line’ delivery that slid through the gate leaving umpire Neil Mallender to uphold the appeal for caught behind. Malan trudged off shaking his head and clearly believing he had missed it.

    Dropped on 12 by Davies off the bowling of Bailey, John Simpson combined with fifth-wicket partner Voges to add 52 either side of lunch before the latter, prodding half-forward and outside the line of an off-cutter, went lbw for 18.

    McLaren struck next, setting up James Harris perfectly with a brace of big out-swingers followed by an off-cutter that trimmed the top of off stump as Harris shouldered arms.

    Bailey enjoyeD a fourth victory when Simpson, on 29, top-edged an attempted pull for Davies to sprint toward backward square leg and pull off a spectacular, full-length diving catch.

    Middlesex were allowed to wriggle off the hook somewhat when Lancashire’s seamers lost their radar for an hour or so, enabling Ollie Rayner and Roland-Jones to counter-punch with an eighth-wicket stand worth 102 that took the hosts to the brink of their sole batting bonus point.

    The introduction of Matt Parkinson’s leg-spin hardly fazed the pair as Roland-Jones cantered to a 68-ball 50 with 10 fours. But, soon after the England all-rounder missed a leg-stump ball from Kyle Jarvis to be sent packing lbw by umpire Martin Saggers.

    Bailey claimed a fifth scalp when Finn played across an angled delivery, but Rayner continued to thrive in reaching his half-century from 71 balls and with seven boundaries. He was unbeaten on 52 when last man Murtagh, having slogged feisty 18, miscued to mid-on to give McLaren four for 63, figures that were only bettered by Bailey with five for 54.

  • Day 2

    Report: Middlesex v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    There could be a tense finish to the Specsavers County Championship match between Middlesex and Lancashire at Lord’s.

    Lancashire, requiring 221 to win, are 46 for one at the end of the second day, requiring another 175 to win. Middlesex had the edge – a thin edge - when Lancashire started to bat again on a bowler-friendly surface. But at stumps on Wednesday both sides were convinced they could win.

    Middlesex are desperate for a victory, while Lancashire want a strong finish after missing out on the championship.

    To make life more difficult for Middlesex they will be without their England fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones for the rest of the match. Roland-Jones had a scan on his stiff back on Wednesday but it proved inconclusive. He will have further tests on Thursday. He batted on the second day, but was unable to bowl.

    Lancashire resumed on 133 for five on the second morning and were bowled out for 165, with Tim Murtagh claiming four for 49. That gave Middlesex a first innings advantage of 68, a meaningful lead in a low-scoring match.

    When Middlesex batted again they soon lost Nick Compton, who was caught behind for nine. Then Stevie Eskinazi was bowled out by Tom Bailey and they looked distinctly wobbly at 16 for two, just 84 runs ahead.

    It didn’t get any easier for the batsmen. Top scorer Sam Robson (58) and Dawid Malan established a partnership but then the players took an early tea because of bad light, with the score on 54 for two. And with the first delivery after the break Ryan McLaren had Malan lbw for 18.

    Acting captain Adam Voges had made just five when he got a thick edge to one from Jordan Clark and the ball just carried to Ryan McLaren took a tumbling catch in the gully. That made it 79 for four.

    Robson completed a dogged fifty from 87 balls, with six fours. But then he pulled Bailey to deep backward square-leg where Kyle Jarvis pulled off a marvellous two-handed catch, diving to his right.

    Jarvis then pulled off another excellent catch, this time low down at extra-cover, to send back John Simpson for a gutsy 33; 130 for six. And without addition James Harris was seventh out in the next over, lbw to Jarvis.

    Roland-Jones was unable to reprise his first innings heroics and Middlesex were all out for 152, with Bailey taking five for 44, to set up a classic finish.

  • Day 3

    Report: Middlesex v Lancashire, Specsavers County Championship

    Forgotten England paceman Steven Finn returned his first five-wicket championship haul since April 2014 to steer Middlesex to a crucial 36-run win over Lancashire with a day to spare at Lord’s.

    Finn bagged eight for 79 and nine in the match to help his relegation threatened side to edge a close finish and post only their third win of a disappointing Specsavers County Championship campaign that extends the Middlesex fight against the drop into next week’s final round of Division 1 matches.

    With fellow bowlers Toby Roland-Jones and Ollie Rayner out of the attack, nursing side and knee injuries respectively, it fell to 28-year-old Finn to lead the home attack on a Lord’s pitch that offered him plenty of assistance.

    Chasing 221 for victory, Lancashire resumed on their overnight total of 46 for one but were soon deep in trouble after losing three wickets for 13 runs in the opening half hour.

    Finn plucked out Liam Livingstone’s off stump and then trapped Steven Croft flush in front to win the lbw appeal with an off-cutter that virtually shot along the floor.

    Wily seamer Tim Murtagh chipped in with the vital scalp of Shiv Chanderpaul. Playing back and across to one that pitched on and straightened, the veteran West Indies left-hander played outside the line leaving Neil Mallender little choice but to raise the trigger finger.

    After taking almost 40 minutes to add to his overnight score, deposed England bat Haseeb Hameed moved on to 23 before taking a blow on the right-hand from Middlesex swing bowler James Harris. Haseeb received lengthy treatment in the middle but duly retired, to be replaced by Ryan McLaren.

    There was a second injury of the session soon after when Rayner, the off-spinner, limped out of the attack having seemingly picked up an injury to his right knee, leaving Middlesex with only three, fully-fit front-line bowlers on the park.

    Finn returned at the Pavilion End just before lunch to have Vilas (37) caught behind after gloving a leg-stump bouncer through to the keeper when attempting to hook.

    Jordan Clark and McLaren emerged from the Pavilion to play with more positivity at the start of the mid-session, Clark driving straight against Murtagh then leaning back to steer a short one from Finn to the ropes at third man.

    Finn had the last laugh however, drawing Clark into an injudicious waft outside off that Clark edged low to the keeper to make it 150 for six and give Finn his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket since he returned six for 79 against Australia in the 2015 Ashes series.

    The red rose county continued to wilt as Toby Bailey worked across the line to a Harris in-swinger to go lbw then Adam Voges leapt two-handed at slip to catch Kyle Jarvis and gift Finn another scalp.

    With Haseeb still incapacitated, last man Matt Parkinson marched out to add 25 in tandem with McLaren (37) until the latter, in attempting to steer a short one from Finn over the cordon was superbly held one-handed by Rayner at second slip, who despite moving to his left, threw up his right hand to cling on to a stinging chance.

    With 38 still needed Haseeb, unbeaten on 23, emerged from the dressing room to bat again but Finn was not to be beaten. He dug one in to have Parkinson fence one low to Adam Voges at slip whose catch was upheld once the umpires conferred.

    Middlesex banked 20 points for their victory, while Lancashire travelled home with only three after suffering their third defeat of the summer.

 

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