Choose Language arrow_drop_down
Alt text here


over 5 years ago | Matches

Only eight times in Middlesex’s long and illustrious 154-year history has the county secured victory in a County Championship clash by a margin of over 300 runs. The first time was against Sussex in 1905 and the last time was eighty years on, against Gloucestershire at Lord’s in 2005. It is this last game that features as our chosen match for this week’s Memory Lane article.

Coincidentally, we find ourselves starting a game against Gloucestershire at Lord’s this Friday, thirteen years on from the exact date that this last game began in 2005 - when Middlesex beat this week’s visitors by 340 runs to secure their fourth largest ever runs victory. An omen for what lays ahead over the next four days perhaps? Who knows?

Back in 2005, Middlesex captain Ben Hutton, in only his fourth game as the club’s skipper, won the toss and duly elected to bat first on a flat Lord’s wicket.

He and Andrew Strauss put on 45 for the first wicket before the current Head Coach of the MCC Young Cricketers, Steve Kirby, broke the partnership with the wicket of Strauss for 27, taking Kirby to the milestone of 200 first-class career wickets in the process.

Both Hutton and Ed Smith fell before lunch, for 14 and 13 respectively, before bat started to dominate ball, with Owais Shah and Ed Joyce each hitting half centuries. Paul Weekes and Ben Scott followed suit later in the day, each posting fifties, with Weekes reaching 10,000 first-class career runs when he hit his nineteenth run of the innings. Four half centuries in the innings helped Middlesex post a commanding first innings total of 390, dismissed just before stumps on the opening day.

In their reply on day two the visitors had New Zealand’s Craig Spearman to thank for taking them to a total of 232, with the kiwi hitting 69 before becoming one of Alan Richardson’s five wickets in the day’s play. The big quick finished with fine figures of 5 for 32 from 19.5 overs, with Melvin Betts picking up 4 for 86 from the other end. Bowled out in 65.5 overs, Gloucestershire trailed Middlesex by 158 runs at the halfway stage and needed to make early inroads into the Middlesex top order to give themselves any chance of staying in the game.

This they did, by dismissing Hutton and Strauss cheaply, and Smith for 35 before the end of play, leaving Middlesex on 93 for 3 at the close, three down, but in control, with a lead of 251 runs with Shah and Joyce at the crease.

Returning on day three the Middlesex pair continued to build a significant fourth wicket partnership to take Middlesex into an unassailable position in the game. When this was broken for 153, with Joyce falling seven runs shy of his hundred, Middlesex had taken the score to 226 for 4. Shah than completed a brilliant hundred, and remained unbeaten on 111, as the declaration came with the hosts total on 342 for 6 – leading Gloucestershire by 500 runs.

Facing the impossible, Gloucestershire’s prospects were dealt an early blow when first innings half century maker Spearman was the first wicket to fall for 20, reducing them to 29 for 1.

There was little resistance on offer hereafter as again Betts and Richardson wreaked havoc, picking up another four and three wickets respectively, both finishing the game with eight wickets apiece, as the visitors were rolled in under 41 overs for just 160.

Middlesex’s victory margin of 340 runs has only been bettered three times in the club’s history, against Surrey at Lord’s in 1911 (353 runs), Northamptonshire at Lord’s in 1947 (355 runs), and against Durham at Chester-le-Street in 1995 (386 runs).

Share this post

Related fixture

Fri 11 May
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Middlesex Middlesex
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire

Match drawn