Middlesex completed a nine wicket victory over Somerset in the LV= County Championship at Taunton inside of three days. After rain caused a delay of 150 minutes, Middlesex claimed the extra half hour and got home with 2.3 overs of the extra time to spare. The win takes Middlesex back to the top of the table with 79 points, with Yorkshire on 76 points and Durham on 70.5 points.
In the morning, Somerset resumed their second innings still 83 runs behind Middlesex with five wickets down. However, Trego and Buttler played themselves against Tim Murtagh and James Harris, scoring just fourteen runs off the first eight overs before Buttler took successive fours in Harris’ fifth over of the morning. In the following over, Trego scored five runs off the first four balls of the over before Buttler scored successive fours off the last two balls of Murtagh’s over.
Buttler and Trego took their sixth wicket partnership to 122 before Trego was well caught by Neil Dexter in the gully off Murtagh’s bowling for 82 (off 115 balls, 11 fours). Alfonso Thomas joined Buttler and the pair took Somerset to 185-6 before Thomas was caught by Tom Smith at mid-wicket for 19, off James Harris. Joe Leach joined Buttler who shortly afterwards, reached his fifty (off 124 balls, 7 fours) and in the same over, Somerset cleared the arrears. The pair were still together at lunch as Somerset reached 208-7 with Buttler 58 not out and Leach 9 not out.
After lunch, Tim Murtagh returned to the attack with Tom Smith continuing to bowl his left-arm spin at the River End. However Leach offered good support to Buttler and the pair took the hosts to 222-7 after 68 overs before a shower of rain drove the players off the ground.
Play resumed after a twelve minute delay and Tom Smith returned to bowl at the Old Pavilion End with Gareth Berg bowling at the River End. Buttler scored two fours off Berg’s sixth over and with Leach took Somerset to 235-7 before Tom Smith bowled Leach behind his legs, Leach having made 21. Steve Kirby joined Buttler who hit Smith for a straight six and he advanced to 85 before he miscued a straight drive against Gareth Berg and Chris Rogers held a fine catch at deep mid-off.
Last man, Jamie Overton joined Kirby with the new ball available in a further 2.3 overs. With the light fading, Middlesex continued with Berg and Smith bowling and did not take the new ball. Kirby and Overton continued their resistance and the total reached 265-9 after 84 overs at which point, Middlesex took the new ball. Before Tim Murtagh could bowl a ball however, the umpires brought the players off the field due to bad light and an early tea was taken.
Play resumed after tea and it took Murtagh only five balls to take the final wicket of the innings when he trapped Kirby LBW for seven. Somerset were all out for 265 to leave Middlesex needing just 71 runs to win. Tim Murtagh bowled splendidly to finish with figures of 6-49 from 21.5 overs, giving him match figures of 10-77.
Chris Rogers hit two fours in Peter Trego’s opening over and Sam Robson scored a three off Overton before the rain arrived with Middlesex 11-0. Play resumed at 6.20pm with 5.3 overs remaining plus an extra half hour being available to get a result. Rogers scored a four in Trego’s second over and two further fours in the following over from Overton. Sam Robson had barely any of the strike but he took six runs off Trego’s fourth over as Middlesex reached 39-0 at which point, the extra half hour was claimed.
Rogers played on and was bowled by Overton for 25 off the third ball of the first extra over and Joe Denly came to the crease. Denly took nine runs off the first three balls of Overton’s 5th over to put Middlesex on course to complete the job. Robson and Denly finished the job as Middlesex won by nine wickets with Sam Robson 24 not out and Joe Denly 14 not out.
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