MIDDLESEX WIN BY 246 RUNS: MIDDLESEX 106 & 573-8d; YORKSHIRE 299 & 134
Yorkshire slipped to only a fourth LV= County Championship defeat in 62 matches under Jason Gillespie’s control as Middlesex took a stranglehold on second place in Division One during today’s final day at Lord’s.
The champions’ hopes of going the season unbeaten were dashed as, set 381 to win in a minimum of 96 overs after Middlesex’s overnight declaration on 573 for eight, they slipped to 134 all out in 58 overs. New ball seamer Toby Roland-Jones continued his memorable match with five wickets, including two in an over after lunch and, overall, four in three overs from the Pavilion End.
On day three, the 27-year-old scored a maiden century - an unbeaten 103 not out - before finishing with season’s best figures of five for 27 from 21 overs. James Harris had earlier set Middlesex on their way to a 246-run victory when he removed England Test duo Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance in the 13th over, his first of the innings, to reduce the score to 28 for two.
When Roland-Jones had Jack Leaning caught at first slip and Andrew Hodd caught behind for a golden duck, they were two of four wickets to fall in 13 balls as they collapsed from 111 for four in the 48th over to 115 for eight in the 50th.
Yorkshire have only lost twice in the last two seasons in Championship cricket, with both coming on this ground. Last April, Middlesex chased down a record 472 in the second innings to win.
This year, they had to recover from conceding a first-innings lead of 193 during Thursday’s second day having been bowled out for just 106 during the opening day. They were on the wrong end of a triple wicket maiden from Ryan Sidebottom at the very start of this match.
Alex Lees was Yorkshire’s only batsman to make it beyond 20 in overcast conditions on day four as he hit eight fours in 62 off 129 balls. After Harris had Lyth and Ballance caught behind, the latter for a second ball duck to complete a pair in the match, opener Lees and captain Andrew Gale shared 64 inside 24 overs for the third wicket to steady the ship.
However, Middlesex made the breakthrough in the sixth over of the afternoon when Neil Dexter trapped Gale lbw for 17 before Lees was caught at second slip shortly afterwards - 106 for four in the 42nd. Then came the flurry of wickets.
After Leaning and Hodd fell to Roland-Jones, Tim Bresnan was caught behind off Harris before James Middlebrook edged Roland-Jones to second slip in the 50th. The same bowler got Jack Brooks caught at third slip in 52nd over with 117 on the board. Tim Murtagh then wrapped up the win by bowling Steve Patterson.
LUNCH UPDATE DAY FOUR: MIDDLESEX 106 & 573-8d; YORKSHIRE 299 & 78-2
Yorkshire are battling hard to preserve their unbeaten record in this season’s LV= County Championship after being set a target of 381 during the final day of their clash with Middlesex at Lord’s.
The champions will pick up the trophy at the end of this match, but could be doing so on the back of only their second defeat in two seasons having reached lunch at 78 for two from 31 overs.
Their last defeat was on this ground against Middlesex during the early stages of last summer. England Test duo Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance fell to James Harris in his first over of the morning, leaving the score at 28 for two in the 13th after Middlesex declared their second innings on 573 for eight shortly before the start of play.
Both men were caught behind by John Simpson, with Ballance going for a two-ball duck to mark a pair in the match. Alex Lees and captain Andrew Gale, who scored 98 in the first innings, are rebuilding the innings. They will resume this afternoon unbeaten on 41 and 17 respectively.