Middlesex suffered an 80 run defeat in their final LV= County Championship match, against Yorkshire at Headingley. Although they are in third place in the Championship after the match, they could finish as low as fifth if Sussex beat Durham in the final round of matches and Warwickshire win at Derby.
Play began in overcast conditions with the hosts resuming their second innings on 130-5, an overall lead of 212. Ballance and Rashid added a further 28 runs in nine overs before Adil Rashid scored two fours off the first three balls of Tim Murtagh’s 18th over. However off the next ball, Rashid got an edge and Dawid Malan took the catch at first slip to dismiss him for 21. There was a double change of bowling with Gareth Berg and Tom Helm replacing Murtagh and Collymore.
In Helm’s second over of the morning, Liam Plunkett pulled a delivery straight to Neil Dexter who took the catch at mid-wicket to dismiss Plunkett for a single. In the following over from Berg, Ryan Sidebottom was out for a first ball duck when Ollie Rayner took a one-handed diving catch at second slip to leave Yorkshire on 179-8. Batting with the tail, Ballance farmed the bowling and added all of the runs in a ninth wicket partnership of fourteen runs before he hooked a Helm delivery straight into the hands of Dawid Malan at long-leg to be dismissed for 90 (off 114 balls, 11 fours).
Patterson scored a single before last man Jack Brooks was caught at third slip by Sam Robson off Gareth Berg’s bowling for a duck. Yorkshire were all-out for 194 leaving Middlesex needing 277 runs to win in a minimum of 75 overs. Sam Helm, on his first-class debut, had figures of 3-46 from 9 overs with Tim Murtagh taking 3-74 in 18 overs, Gareth Berg 2-27 in 8.2 overs and Corey Collymore 2-25 in 13 overs. The Middlesex players formed a guard of honour as Corey Collymore walked off the ground on his last appearance for the Club.
Thirty-two minutes remained for Middlesex to bat before lunch but they lost Sam Robson in the fourth over when he was caught by Lyth at second slip for two off the bowling of Steve Patterson. Joe Denly joined Chris Rogers who scored four fours in making 19 not out from a total of 25-1 at lunch.
After Rogers played out a maiden over from Ryan Sidebottom, Denly scored two fours and a single in the following over from Patterson before he was yorked by Sidebottom for twelve. Dawid Malan joined Rogers with the score on 34-2 and Malan got off the mark second ball with a cover-driven four. Malan played with confidence and dominated a third wicket partnership of 56, scoring six fours in an innings of 31 off 37 balls before he was LBW to a good delivery from Liam Plunkett.
Neil Dexter scored two fours off the first two balls he faced in Plunkett’s over and the hundred came up in the 23rd over. However in the following over from Jack Brooks, Kane Williamson at third slip held a sharp chance to dismiss Dexter for eight to reduce Middlesex to 103-4. John Simpson joined Rogers who reached a 64 ball fifty with his ninth four of his innings. Rogers scored successive fours off Brooks but when he had reached 61 he survived a sharp chance to second slip off Plunkett.
The total reached 134-4 before Rogers was disappointed to be given out by umpire Nigel Llong, caught at the wicket for 65 (off 85 balls, 11 fours) off the bowling of Plunkett. Patterson returned at the Kirkstall Lane End and Simpson chased a wide delivery and was caught by Adam Lyth at second slip for nine. Gareth Berg was next to go when he was caught at the wicket by Bairstow for six and Middlesex went into tea on 149-7 in the 38th over.
Tom Helm joined Ollie Rayner at the wicket immediately after tea and he looked a respectable lower order batsman scoring three fours in an innings of 18 before he was LBW to Jack Brooks to leave Middlesex on 185-8. Tim Murtagh fell in the same over when he was caught by Gary Ballance at first slip for a third ball duck and Corey Collymore joined Rayner.
A further eleven runs were added for the last wicket before Ollie Rayner holed out to Patterson at mid-off from Brooks’ bowling for 25. Middlesex were all-out for 196 to leave Yorkshire the winners by 80 runs, a win that secures them second place in the LV= County Championship. Brooks had figures of 4-33 from 7.5 overs with Patterson taking 3-50 in 15 overs, Plunkett 2-55 in 13 overs and Ryan Sidebottom 1-49 in 12 overs.
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