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MATCH REPORT | MIDDLESEX V GLAMORGAN

Match report provided by the ECB Reporters Network.


DAY FOUR

Middlesex swept aside Glamorgan by 10 wickets at Lord’s and leapfrogged their opponents in the battle to secure an LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two promotion spot.

It took the Seaxes less than an hour on the final morning to seal a comprehensive win that catapults them into second place in the table, 12 points clear of Glamorgan with two rounds of matches to play.

Seamer Toby Roland-Jones finished with figures of five for 61 – his fourth five-wicket haul of the summer – as Glamorgan were bowled out for 220 in their second innings.

That left the home side needing just 45 for victory and opening pair Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson knocked those off in only 5.2 overs.

Having gone into the fourth day with a narrow lead of 15, Glamorgan extended it by another 29 before Roland-Jones, already the Championship’s leading wicket-taker, added two more to wrap up the innings.

Ajaz Patel – who had been put down by Ethan Bamber in Roland-Jones’ previous over – was first to depart for eight, held at mid-off by Tim Murtagh.

Last man Michael Hogan went for his shots, hitting over the top and hammering Roland-Jones and Murtagh to the boundary in a cameo knock of 14 that ensured the visitors bettered their first-innings total of 214.

However, Bamber atoned for his earlier drop by running back to take a harder, steepling catch when Hogan took one swing too many at Roland-Jones, leaving Middlesex to chase a modest target.

Their openers made short work of the 45 required, with Robson (25 not out) crashing three consecutive boundaries off former team-mate James Harris and Stoneman (20no) confirmed victory by sweeping Patel to the fence.


DAY THREE

Toby Roland-Jones sparked a dramatic Glamorgan collapse as Middlesex pressed for victory on the third day of their vital LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Lord’s.

Division 2s leading wicket-taker took two wickets in four balls among figures of 3-46 as the visitors capitulated from 123-0 to 144-6

Tim Murtagh (2-37) and Ethan Bamber (2-36) also picked up wickets amid the carnage as Glamorgan limped to 191-8 before bad light ended play five overs before the scheduled close.

David Lloyd (70) and Edward Byrom (47) had given Glamorgan a dream start to their second innings before the collapse ensued. All this came after 76 from John Simpson and Luke Hollman’s 58 took Middlesex to 390 in the morning session, a first innings lead of 176, James Harris taking 5-90 and Ajaz Patel 3-68.

There was little sign of the impending drama when Lloyd and Byrom were 123-0 shortly before tea, having feasted on some friendly offerings from a seemingly out of sorts host attack.

Lloyd, who has been short of runs at the top of the order played fluently, square-driving Bamber to the fence at point before a disdainful pull from the bowling of Ryan Higgins took him to a rapid 50 – all this despite a leg injury which impeded his running between the wickets.

Opening partner Byrom was given a life first ball when edging to Hollman at third slip off the bowling of Roland-Jones, the all-rounder failing to grasp the chance away to his left.

The left-hander survived another scare when playing no shot to a Ryan Higgins in-swinger, but that apart drove the ball nicely and looked in little trouble.

Ten minutes before the tea-break Lloyd inexplicably guided a Bamber delivery into the hands of gully, but there seemed little cause for alarm.

However, Roland-Jones broke the game open with two wickets in the first over after tea. The first had an element of luck as Byrom middled a leg-stump half-volley straight to square leg, while Sam Northeast lasted just three balls before edging through to Simpson.

All of a sudden there were four slips. Roland-Jones would have had a third wicket in the spell had Max Holden clung on to what would have been a blinder of a catch after another loose shot from Kiran Carlson. The batter though didn’t make the most of his reprieve, recklessly slashing a Murtagh delivery into the hands of Stephen Eskinazi.

Loose shot disease was catching as Billy Root drove Bamber to Robson at slip and Shubman Gill perished too, trying to turn a ball from Murtagh on the onside only to get an edge which flew to Hollman in the gully.

James Harris and Chris Cooke briefly threatened to dig in, but Roland-Jones returned to have the former caught behind and when Cooke was pinned lbw by Higgins Middlesex scented victory in three days.

But Robson dropped Patel at slip as Glamorgan hung on until bad light intervened.

Earlier, Middlesex resumed on 286-5 with a lead of 72, but neither overnight batter lasted long.

Simpson had already been given a life on 75 when Billy Root dropped a straightforward catch at deep square off the bowling of Harris, before he was bowled by Michael Hogan.

Ryan Higgins followed an over later when a beauty from Harris swung in before deviating off the pitch and plucking out the middle stump.

Glamorgan though were frustrated by the latest late-middle order gem of an innings from Hollman, typified by a gorgeous square drive off Lloyd for four.

The all-rounder twice reversed swept Patel to the fine-leg fence en route to an excellent 50, celebrated in the grand manner by launching the spinner over long-on for six.


DAY TWO

Mark Stoneman posted his best score of the season to put Middlesex in control of their crucial LV= Insurance County Championship promotion battle with Glamorgan on a rain-affected second day at Lord’s.

The left-hander struck 128 – his third Championship century of the summer – and shared a fifth-wicket stand of 134 with John Simpson as Middlesex overtook the visitors’ first-innings total of 214.

However, the Seaxes’ momentum was punctured by a series of rain stoppages throughout the day and they eventually reached 286 for five, holding a handy lead of 72, when play was abandoned.

Simpson remained undefeated on 72 at stumps, with Ryan Higgins 35 not out at the other end.

Having resumed 82 in arrears, Middlesex progressed steadily during a truncated morning session, although Timm van der Gugten and James Harris both beat the bat on several occasions.

Simpson timed the ball sweetly, punching van der Gugten through the covers to the short boundary and collecting four more from a straight drive off Harris as he and Stoneman ate into the deficit with some aggressive running between the wickets.

Stoneman was just four short of his hundred when play was halted by the first downpour of the day, leaving him to stew over an extended lunch interval.

But the opener lost no further time after the resumption, advancing to three figures from 179 balls and stepping up a gear as he dispatched Harris for a trio of boundaries in one over.

With the batting side swiftly moving into the lead, Glamorgan turned to spinner Ajaz Patel and, although Stoneman crashed his first delivery to the boundary, an uncertain prod at the second was gobbled up by Chris Cooke behind the stumps.

However, Simpson progressed to his half-century for the seventh time this summer and he and Higgins secured the Seaxes’ second batting bonus point prior to two further rain delays – the second of which brought the day’s play to a premature end.


DAY ONE

James Harris returned to haunt his former teammates, bowling Glamorgan back into contention on day one of their vital LV = Insurance County Championship clash with fellow promotion contenders Middlesex at Lord’s.

With Middlesex 90-1 in reply to the visitors’ 214 all out, Harris produced a burst of 3-0 in nine balls from the Nursery End, reducing the hosts to 92-4 and evoking memories of his greatest ever spell of 9-34 against Durham at the home of cricket in 2015.

Mark Stoneman witnessed the carnage from the other end, to remain unbeaten on 72 with Middlesex 132-4 when bad light ended play four overs before the scheduled close.

Earlier Chris Cooke was the mainstay of Glamorgan’s innings with 52, Ryan Higgins taking four for 59 in his first game since returning to the county from Gloucestershire and John Simpson taking five catches behind the stumps.

The start of play was preceded by an impeccably observed minute’s silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Given the 10:30 start it was no surprise Middlesex chose to bowl and they struck in the first over, Tim Murtagh getting one to bounce and find the shoulder of Edward Byron’s bat to give Simpson his first catch of the day.

Toby Roland-Jones matched his skipper’s feat uprooting Glamorgan skipper David Lloyd’s off-stump to leave the visitors 9-2.

Despite the early successes, the home attack showed an understandable rustiness born of a schedule which had not seen them bowl a red ball competitively for 46 days, Murtagh particularly guilty of a spate of half-volleys.

Shubman Gill though never settled. Dropped on eight when Murtagh failed to hold a caught and bowled, his skittish effort ended on 22 when he bottom-edged a pull off Roland-Jones into his stumps.

One wicket brought two when Murtagh (three for 58) found the edge of Sam Northeast’s bat and Simpson did the rest and when Higgins relieved Murtagh to have Billy Root caught behind Glamorgan were floundering at 70-5.

Cooke and Kiran Carlson led a fightback either side of lunch encouraged by too many four balls from the hosts, Murtagh being despatched three times in one over soon after the resumption. As so often though Murtagh extracted revenge when Carlson nicked him behind to end the stand at 59.

Harris kept Cooke company long enough for him to reach 50 from 80 balls, but Higgins returned to trap him lbw and Cooke’s vigil ended four balls later when he dragged one from Ethan Bamber into his off bail.

Glamorgan did though glean a precious batting point thanks to Ajaz Patel’s entertaining, if unorthodox 36 before Higgins mopped up the tail.

Stoneman opened the host’s reply with a spate of boundaries including a glorious square drive off Harris to the short side of the ground.

Fellow opener Sam Robson though went early taken low down at third slip off Michael Hogan. The former England opener stood his ground but after conferring the umpires sent him on his way.

Stephen Eskinazi survived a raucous caught behind shout first ball to play some trademark cover drives against seam and spin alike before Harris (three for 47) took centre-stage.

An all but unplayable ball squared up Eskinazi to take the edge and send him on his way for 31. It transpired the Welsh seamer was simply warming up as in his next over he castled Pieter Malan for a duck before having Max Holden caught at slip first ball by Northeast.

Simpson survived the hat-trick ball and one or two other scares as he and Stoneman steadied the ship before the premature close.

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