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Match Report Specsavers County Championship 05 September 2017

Middlesex
Yorkshire

DAY ONE - CLOSE OF PLAY

The opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match between Yorkshire and Middlesex at Headingley was washed out without a ball bowled.

Overnight and morning rain led umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Richard Illingworth to decide there would be no play before lunch just 10 minutes after the scheduled start time at 10.30am.

The rain cleared at approximately midday, with the ground-staff removing some of the covers.

But, with the surface particularly wet at the Football Stand End of the ground, the chances of play starting were always remote.

The umpires inspected at 12.30pm and 2pm and abandoned the day shortly after the latter.

Champions Middlesex are sixth in the Division One table, 26 points clear of the bottom two, while Yorkshire are seventh and 23 points clear. This is the first of four remaining games.

No toss has taken place, while the teams haven’t been declared.

Yorkshire overseas batsman Shaun Marsh

“It’s very frustrating. We want to get out there and play, but it’s pretty wet.”

Marsh debuts this week in four-day cricket having played for Yorkshire in the NatWest T20 Blast.

He returns to Australia after next week’s clash with Surrey at the Oval to prepare for the start of Western Australia’s domestic summer later this month.

“I’ve loved it here,” he said. “The club’s been fantastic towards myself and my family. They’re a great bunch of guys who play here.

“It was a bit disappointing that we didn’t make the finals in the T20 competition, but I’ve really enjoyed. Hopefully I can finish off strong in the couple of Championship games I have left before I go home.”

Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser

"We both need to play some cricket and win some games. I drove up from London this morning, and it started raining around Nottingham and seemed to get heavier. It's taken a lot of water, especially down the bottom end near the Football Stand.
"People say the slope's been levelled out here, but there is still a slope there. Naturally, the water's going to go down. It's too splashy, unfortunately."

DAY TWO - CLOSE OF PLAY

YORKSHIRE 317/7

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Jack Leaning and Andrew Hodd posted important half-centuries either side of tea as Yorkshire had the better of day two of their Specsavers County Championship clash with Middlesex at Headingley.

After day one was washed out, this was the first day’s play of a fixture between the teams who have shared the Division One title for the last three years.

Yorkshire closed on 317 for seven from 98 overs, recovering from 116 for four as Leaning posted 85 from 142 balls and wicketkeeper Hodd 51 from 90, sharing 114 for the fifth wicket inside 30 overs.

Bad light meant six overs at the end of the day meant six overs were lost.

Middlesex captain James Franklin opted for an uncontested toss this morning before Steven Finn claimed the only wicket of the opening session when he had Australian Shaun Marsh lbw playing around one for 22, leaving the score at 39 for one in the 19th over.

Adam Lyth impressed for 40, battling hard before expanding - in a similar way to Leaning and Hodd did later in the day.

James Harris bowled six maidens on the trot to start his spell having replaced Finn from the Kirkstall Lane End before he got Lyth caught behind with a beauty shortly after lunch.

That was the first of three wickets to fall in the first eleven overs of the afternoon as the score fell to 116 for four in the 44th.

Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance marked his first bat for the county since the reverse fixture at Lord’s in late June (England commitments and a fractured finger) by edging behind for 12 as he played expansively outside off.

Alex Lees (27) was then trapped lbw by Franklin’s left-arm seamers.

Yorkshire were in danger of undoing their early good work against a tidy visiting attack, who could have created more pressure with tighter lines.

But Leaning and Hodd eased those concerns during their fifth-wicket alliance, which started cautiously before expanding on a pitch with plenty of pace and carry.

Leaning drove nicely on the way to his second successive Championship fifty - his third in all this season - off 58 balls.

Hodd whipped Harris straight of mid-on for four to mark the shot of the day on the way to his third of the campaign.

A first batting bonus point had been secured in the final over of the afternoon before their century stand was recorded just after tea.

Hodd reached 50 off 87 balls before edging Franklin behind as the score fell to 230 for five in the 74th.

A second batting point for 250 came on the cusp of the second new ball.

Tim Murtagh lifted Middlesex spirits by bowling Leaning as he played to leg and trapped Adil Rashid lbw with successive deliveries at the end of the 85th over, leaving the score at 270 for seven.

But the visitors could not prevent Yorkshire from reaching 300 for the first time in nine completed Championship innings.

Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett shared an unbroken 47 for the eighth wicket, reaching 26 and 34 not out.

DAY THREE -  CLOSE OF PLAY

YORKSHIRE 358 a/o

MIDDLESEX 108/3

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

Yorkshire and Middlesex will almost certainly have to settle for a Specsavers County Championship draw following rain on day one and more rain and bad light from early afternoon onwards at Headingley on day three.

Yorkshire were bowled out for 358 during the first hour of play having started on 317 for seven before Middlesex responded with 108 for three from 32 overs.

There was no play possible beyond 4pm when bad light and then rain came in for the second time in the day, with 56 overs lost to take the match tally to 142.

Yorkshire travel to the Oval to face Surrey next week and Middlesex host Hampshire at Uxbridge.

Their nerves will be heightened if second-bottom Somerset beat Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Having posted four batting bonus points for passing 350, Yorkshire were going to be the most likely winners in this shortened game.

But Middlesex openers Sam Robson and Nick Compton thwarted such ideas with a composed opening partnership of 73 inside 22 overs either side of lunch.

Although overhead conditions have been overcast for large parts of the last two days, the pitch has been as good for batting as at any stage this season in Championship cricket at Headingley.

There was the odd stifled appeal and a couple of extremely well judged leaves that left hands on heads as Robson and Compton blunted the new ball.

The breakthrough came when the excellent Ryan Sidebottom, in his penultimate match at Headingley, rocked back Compton’s off stump for 42 with one that held its line from over the wicket as the batsman played down the wrong line.

The veteran left-armer then had Stevie Eskinazi caught well down low at third slip by a tumbling Jack Leaning for five as the score fell to 83 for two in the 24th over.

Only five more balls were possible before the weather intervened for the first time just before 2pm.

When play resumed 90 minutes later, Sidebottom had Robson caught behind for 47 by a tumbling Andrew Hodd as the score fell to 104 for three in the 32nd.

Only two more balls were bowled, with Sidebottom finishing with three for 49 from 14.

The day started with Tim Murtagh taking two of the three Yorkshire wickets to fall, including Liam Plunkett lbw for 34 with the third ball of the day.

Murtagh then had Ben Coad caught at first slip by Adam Voges as the score fell 336 for nine in the 103rd over, the fifth of the morning, as the visitors claimed their third bowling point.

Sidebottom hit two eye-catching boundaries through the covers and to wide long-on to help secure a fourth batting point before James Harris wrapped up the innings when he had Tim Bresnan caught at deep point for 44 in the 112th over.

Murtagh finished with four for 77 from 29 overs, the pick of the Middlesex bowling figures.

When play begins tomorrow, Australian overseas batsman Adam Voges will be five not out and Paul Stirling on four.

DAY FOUR - CLOSE OF PLAY

YORKSHIRE 358 a/o

MIDDLESEX 272/8

MATCH REPORT PROVIDED BY ECB INDEPENDENT REPORTER NETWORK

The final day of the Specsavers County Championship match between Yorkshire and Middlesex at Headingley saw only one session of play, with the inevitable draw confirmed.

Play started at 3.10pm following heavy overnight and morning rain, with Middlesex advancing their first innings from 108 for three to 272 for eight declared, including a fine unbeaten 65 for Australian Adam Voges.

The sodden outfield in front of the Football Stand was the reason why umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Richard Illingworth went through a series of inspections before giving play the green light after tea with a minimum of 38 overs to bowl.

A total of 198 overs were lost in the match, including a washed out first day on Tuesday.

Liam Plunkett picked up two of the five wickets to fall, the first of them in his first over of the day, the fifth in all, having replaced Ben Coad.

He bowled Paul Stirling for 24 with a nip-backer to leave the score at 137 for four after 37 overs before undoing John Simpson with extra bounce and getting him caught at second slip with 143 on the board in the 41st.

This was Plunkett’s final Championship appearance of the season due to England limited overs duty, with Adil Rashid also in the same boat. However, the leg-spinner only bowled five overs.

Coad returned to the attack and picked up the sixth wicket of the innings as Yorkshire clinched their second bowling point.

He had Middlesex captain James Franklin caught at second slip, with Adam Lyth taking his second catch as the score fell to 184 for six after 52 overs.

Rashid had James Harris (19) caught at deep square, leaving Middlesex at 206 for seven in the 58th.

That was the visitors first batting point, with Ollie Rayner’s 37 in a stand of 66 helping them reach 250 for a second batting point.

They had a dart at reaching 300 before declaring immediately upon Rayner’s departure - bowled by Bresnan - to stop Yorkshire from getting a ninth wicket for another bowling point. There were 3.1 overs remaining.

Yorkshire take eleven points and Middlesex 10 from this draw, with the hosts leapfrogging the Lord’s based county by a place to fifth in the Division One table courtesy of more wins.

They have both have 114 points with three left to play.

Second-bottom Somerset, having beaten Warwickshire at Edgbaston, closed the gap to 13 points.

Yorkshire travel to the Oval to face Surrey on Tuesday, another team who could be dragged into the fight for survival.

Middlesex host Hampshire at Uxbridge and Somerset host Lancashire at Taunton.

Meanwhile, this was the final day that Yorkshire supporters could use the Football Stand before its redevelopment starts with the seats taken out on Monday.

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