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MIDDLESEX V NORTHAMPTONSHIRE - MATCH UPDATES

about 1 year ago | Matches

MATCH RESULT - MIDDLESEX WIN BY 31 RUNS

DAY FOUR - CLOSE OF PLAY

Middlesex 187 & 374

Northamptonshire 346 & 184

Tim Murtagh took his second five-wicket haul of the season to bowl Middlesex to an extraordinary win at Wantage Road to keep alive their hopes of promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.

Defending 216 after Middlesex had followed-on, Murtagh and 19-year-old debutant Ethan Bamber shared eight wickets as Northamptonshire were bowled out for 187 to lose by 31 runs.

It is the first time in their history that Northants have lost after enforcing the follow-on and the first time since 1924 - and fifth instance overall - that Middlesex have won having been asked to follow-on.

Northants took just three balls of the morning to bowl Middlesex out for 374 - a remarkable fightback having been 166 for 6 on the third afternoon - and set about their target comfortably, reaching 94 for the loss of Saif Zaib just before lunch. But Luke Procter, who had gone calmly to 35 in a stand of 75 for the second wicket with Ricardo Vasconcelos, drove lazily at Bamber to edge behind and it began an incredible slide.

After lunch, Vasconcelos, having passed fifty for the second time in the match in 73 balls with six fours, tried to force Murtagh off the back foot and edged to second slip. Alex Wakely was then lbw for 6 offering no stroke. Steven Crook never looked comfortable and it was no surprise when he too was lbw for 5, also to Murtagh, before Rory Kleinveldt played all around a Bamber delivery and was also given out leg before.

It was a collapse of 6 for 36 in 14.3 overs and saw Middlesex suddenly favourites to pull off an amazing comeback. Richard Levi made 18 to offer Northants some hope before he was strangled down the leg side trying to flick James Fuller.

Nathan Buck and Brett Hutton at least steered Northants through to tea and as they resumed needing 43 to win with two wickets remaining, the home side were still alive. But Buck drove at Murtagh and popped a catch up to extra-cover and Hutton was trapped lbw by one that slid back in from Murtagh to end the game and complete figures of 5 for 38.

Middlesex danced around knowing they had got themselves out of a massive hole having been outplayed for two-and-a-half days. They remain in the promotion race in Division Two and now play Sussex, who they trail by 39 points, at Lord’s next week. With Kent also to play in their remaining five games, the 2016 County Champions could yet bounce back to Division One at the first attempt.

For Northamptonshire it was a sickening defeat - their sixth of the season - having had the game in the palm of their hands. They now travel to Durham trying to salvage something from a terrible year.

Northants head coach David Ripley said:

“We had seen off the new ball but we gifted some wickets away and the belief then builds for Middlesex, the pressure built on us and it became very edgy.

“There were no demons in the pitch, batting was at it’s easiest today and we’ve really got to win that.

“There’s a way of winning games and finding a way over the line, we were doing it last season but lost it this year.

"We’ve played some pretty good cricket over four days and guttingly lost.”

Middlesex vice captain Sam Robson said:

“It’s incredible the way we fought back, especially following-on. We were pretty ordinary the first couple of days and to come back and win is just an unbelievable effort.

“Ethan was awesome. You’re always nervous in your first game and there was a lot of pressure today so for him to bowl the way he did was an incredible effort.

“Obviously Murts we know what he can do but Max and Harry yesterday were so good too.”

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY FOUR - TEA

Northamptonshire 173/8

Northamptonshire suffered a disastrous collapse after lunch on day four at Wantage Road to leave Middlesex favourites at tea with the home side 173 for 8 needing another 43 to win.

Chasing 216 to win, Northants were 94 for 1 two overs before lunch but plunged to 130 for 7 in a collapse of 6 for 36 in 14.3 overs. And when Richard Levi was caught down the leg side, the game looked up at 148 for 8.

But Nathan Buck and Brett Hutton steadied Northants to keep them alive at tea with an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 25.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY FOUR - LUNCH

Middlesex 374 all out

Northamptonshire 97/2

Ricardo Vasconcelos led Northamptonshire’s pursuit of 216 on the fourth morning at Wantage Road. At lunch, he was 47 not out as Northants moved to 97 for 2 needing 119 more to beat Middlesex.

After being made to work very hard on the third afternoon as Middlesex produced a fine fightback, Northants took just three deliveries to end the Middlesex second-innings as Rory Kleinveldt uprooted Tim Murtagh’s leg stump for his 450th first-class wicket on what could be his final appearance for the county.

The chase then began steadily before makeshift opener Saif Zaib - replacing Ben Duckett who broke a finger on day two - chipped a catch back to James Harris to fall for 9. But Vasconelos, after his first-innings 140, got off the mark with a clip through midwicket for four, sweetly cover-drove Ethan Bamber and pulled and then cover drove Harris.

But just when Northants were about to take the break in an utterly dominant position, Luke Procter drove loosely at Bamber and edged behind to fall for 35.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY THREE - CLOSE OF PLAY

Middlesex 374/9

Max Holden and James Harris gave Middlesex hope of producing a remarkable turnaround against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. The pair added 121 for the seventh wicket on the third afternoon to help steer Middlesex to 374 for 9 following-on, leading by 215.

At 166 for 6 just after lunch, and a lead of just seven, Middlesex were slumping to defeat. But Holden and Harris gathered themselves and began to work their side back into the game with careful, considered batting with the clouds parting and the zip from the surface easing.

Holden led the resistance, simply happy to occupy the crease. He left the very ball well and nudged and flicked his way to an 83-ball fifty - his second of the summer - but it did include a sumptuous cover-drive, one of eight boundaries.

Harris was a more jittery early on and cut and missed several times and edged Brett Hutton just short of first slip. But he too was prepared to ground it out and take the innings as deep as possible.

Holden, on the ground where he spent a profitable loan spell last season, got to within six of a maiden Middlesex century against the second new ball but, agonisingly, drove loosely at Hutton and edged to second slip. He peeled himself from the field having undone all his hard work with a shot he had largely ignored for his previous 163 balls.

After Holden fell, the lead was only 128 and Northants had ambitions to run through the lower order. But Harris wasn’t finished and went past his own half-century - a third in this year’s Championship - in 138 balls with seven fours.

Harris managed to take Middlesex to the close, 79 not out, sharing a stand of 54 with 19-year-old Ethan Bamber on debut, and No. 11 Tim Murtagh then holding out to stumps.

Such a recovery was beyond the ambitions of the most ardent Middlesex supporter as they slumped just after lunch with Northants again excellent with the ball. They took three wickets in three overs after an initially quiet 45 minutes play. Nathan Buck nipped a ball into Stevie Eskinazi to win an lbw decision before Rory Kleinveldt swung a ball into Dawid Malan to remove his off-bail for just 5 and another to Eoin Morgan that trapped him lbw for a third-ball duck.

Sam Robson battled away well for 11 cloudy overs on the second evening and went on to make 72 - his highest score of the season - before gloving a catch down the leg-side in the final over before lunch and when Robbie White was caught at slip for 5 after the break, the game was only heading one way.

But Holden and Harris ensured Middlesex have a fighting chance of pulling off just a fifth first-class win when following-on. They were helped by the 56 extras Northants conceded - the most Northants have given Middlesex in a first-class innings - taking the match tally given by Northants to 93.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY THREE - TEA

Middlesex 262/6

Max Holden and James Harris compiled an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 96 to give Middlesex hope at Wantage Road. At tea on the third day, the visitors reached 262 for 6, leading Northamptonshire by 103.

Holden’s second half-century of the season, with eight fours, guided Middlesex away from 166 for 6 just after lunch when Brett Hutton had Robbie White caught at slip.

But that was the only wicket to fall in the session as Harris worked his way to 37 not out by tea to build the lead.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY THREE - LUNCH

Middlesex 143/5

Sam Robson went past his first half-century of the season on the third morning at Wantage Road to keep Middlesex alive against Northamptonshire but he fell to the last ball before lunch as Middlesex slipped to 143 for 5 following-on, still trailing by 16.

Robson, returning from almost two months out with a broken finger, came into the game averaging only 14 in 12 innings this summer but played very carefully and left well to compile a much-needed score for his side, going past fifty with his eighth boundary - nudged past square leg - in 102 balls.

But he couldn’t survive to the break as Nathan Buck placed a leg slip and a ball that nipped back down the leg side saw Robson caught by wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos to fall for a battling 72.

Without him, Middlesex may have been out of the game after losing three wickets in three overs after a quiet 45 minutes play. Buck nipped a ball into Stevie Eskinazi to win an lbw decision before Rory Kleinveldt swung ball into Dawid Malan to remove his off-bail for just 5 and another to Eoin Morgan that trapped him lbw for a third-ball duck.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - CLOSE OF PLAY

Middlesex 187 all out & 32/1

A fine bowling display from Northamptonshire’s seamers forced Middlesex to follow-on at Wantage Road on the second day. After being bowled out for 187, Middlesex then closed 32 for 1, trailing by 127.

Under thick cloud and on a seaming surface, batting was very tricky and having ground out 346 half-an-hour into the morning, the Northants attack then bowled far better than Middlesex managed to take control of the game.

All four Northants seamers contributed with Rory Kleinveldt setting Northants up with three wickets in seven balls before lunch.

Introduced for the 15th over of the Middlesex reply, he immediately got a ball to climb on Sam Robson to take an edge behind. Next ball, a full inswinger trapped Dawid Malan lbw. Eoin Morgan survived the hat-trick but Kleinveldt produced a third wicket with a full delivery that Stevie Eskinazi drove lazily at to edge to first slip.

Nick Gubbins was the first wicket to fall, after a positive start with seven boundaries, trapped lbw by Ben Sanderson and Sanderson returned after lunch with a beauty that seamed back late to clip Eoin Morgan’s off-stump.

At that stage, Middlesex were 79 for 5 and in danger of being blown away but Max Holden, familiar with Wantage Road after a loan spell last season, found a partnership of 69 with Robbie White either side of a rain delay to reduce the deficit.

The stand could have been ended before it began had Richard Levi held White on 5 down by his left boot. But the miss allowed a comeback of sorts before Holden, having nudged and poked 30 from 76 balls, edged Brett Hutton behind just before bad light brought tea 18 minutes early.

Then Nathan Buck began an at-times unplayable spell to end the innings. A snorter climbed on White to take an edge behind and he fell for 35 - the second-top score in the innings after the 37 extras included 22 byes. Another lifting delivery took the gloves of James Fuller and rebounded into the stumps. James Harris battled away for 32 balls for 6 but was lured into driving and skewed a catch to point before Tim Murtagh, attempting a third leg-side heaved having struck a six then four, got a thin edge to wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos.

159 behind and with 29 overs left in the day, Alex Wakely enforced the follow-on and Sanderson trapped Gubbins lbw for the second time in the day - the batsman clearly unhappy with the decision - before bad light took out the final 18 overs of the day

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - TEA

Middlesex 150/6

Northamptonshire took two further Middlesex wickets in an interrupted afternoon session at Wantage Road to reinforce their strong position on day two. At tea, the visitors were 150 for 6, trailing by 196.

Resuming 76 for 4, Ben Sanderson produced a beauty that seamed back late to clip Eoin Morgan’s off-stump and Nathan Buck could have removed Robbie White for just 5 but Richard Levi spilled the catch at second slip low down by his left boot.

The drop allowed White and Max Holden to add 69 for the sixth wicket either side of a rain delay before Holden felt for a delivery from Hutton and edged behind to fall for 30 just before bad light ended the session 18 minutes early.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY TWO - LUNCH

Northamptonshire 346 all out

Middlesex 76/4

Rory Kleinveldt took three wickets with his opening seven deliveries of the Middlesex innings to put Northamptonshire on top at Wantage Road on the second morning. At lunch, Middlesex were 76 for 4 replying to 346.

Kleinveldt was introduced for the 15th over of the Middlesex reply and immediately got a ball to climb on Sam Robson to take an edge behind. Next ball, a full inswinger trapped Dawid Malan lbw.

Eoin Morgan survived the hat-trick but Kleinveldt produced a third wicket with a full delivery that Stevie Eskinazi drove lazily at to edge to first slip.

Nick Gubbins was the first wicket to fall, after a positive start with seven boundaries, trapped lbw by Ben Sanderson.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - CLOSE OF PLAY

Northamptonshire 332/8

Ricardo Vasconcelos made his maiden century in county cricket to give Northamptonshire an excellent opening day against Middlesex on the return of the Specsavers County Championship to Wantage Road.

Vasconcelos equalled his career-best 140, occupying the crease for 210 balls, as Northants made 332 for 8 having been sent in on a green-tinged pitch where movement with the ball was evident all day.

Having initially been signed as batting cover, Vasconcelos has made a great impression for Northants and here, ground out a century in 161 balls, taking full advantage of a terrible dropped catch by Eoin Morgan at first slip when the left-hander only had 28.

Resuming after lunch on 47 not out, Vasconcelos steered a boundary to third man to raise fifty in 74 balls with six fours before driving further boundaries through cover point and mid-off.

He played second-fiddle in a stand of 77 with Richard Levi for the fourth wicket but after Levi fell for 41, drove Tim Murtagh through cover for his 14th boundary to go to his third first-class century and first in the UK.

Vasconcelos played the stroke of the day - an imperious drive on the up through the covers - but eventually fell dragging Ethan Bamber into his stumps, handing 19-year-old Bamber a wicket on his first-team debut. It ended another of the four fifty-plus partnerships Northants built as they steadily accumulated throughout the day.

Ben Duckett was the only single-figure score of the top-order but after James Harris sent one through his gate to bowl the left-hander for 7 in the sixth over of the morning Middlesex were not as sharp in the field as they would have liked having not contested the toss.

Luke Procter and Vasconcelos added 59 for the second wicket before Procter fell over a Harris inswinger and was lbw for a carefully-compiled 26. Alex Wakely edged Harris behind for 18 just after lunch but not after another handy stand of 58.

Levi joined Vasconcelos and the pair moved Northants into a strong position at 210 for 3 with Levi, returning from a quad injury, beginning to pull with authority - one such stroke carried deep-square for six - but a miscued pull found mid-on and Levi fell for 41 just when poised to take the afternoon away from Middlesex.

But the visitors remained game and the wicket of Vasconcelos came just before the second-new ball was due and saw a fightback from 273 for 4 to 312 for 8. Murtagh trapped Steven Crook lbw for 31 before Harris struck twice in two balls, bowling Rory Kleinveldt for 7 and having Nathan Buck caught behind to finish the day with 5 for 81 - his third five-wicket haul of the summer.

Match Reports provided by ECB reporters Network.


DAY ONE - TEA

Northamptonshire 235/4

Ricardo Vasconcelos made his maiden century for Northamptonshire to put his side in a strong position against Middlesex at Wantage Road. At tea on the first afternoon, Vasconcelos reached 110 in Northants’ 235 for 4.

Resuming after lunch on 47 not out, he steered a boundary to third man to raise fifty in 74 balls with six fours before driving further boundaries through cover point and mid-off.

He played second-fiddle in a stand of 77 with Richard Levi for the fourth wicket but after Levi fell for 41, drove Tim Murtagh through cover for his 14th boundary to go to his third first-class century and first in the UK.

Murtagh had broken the fourth-wicket stand but only as Levi miscued a pull to mid-on. Alex Wakely also fell in the session, edging James Harris behind in the eighth over after lunch to fall for 18.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - LUNCH

Northamptonshire 107/2

Ricardo Vasconcelos led Northamptonshire through a testing first morning against Middlesex as the Specsavers County Championship returned at Wantage Road.

Vasconelos, dropped by Eoin Morgan at first slip on 28, went to lunch 47 not out as Northants made 107 for 2.

James Harris sent one through the gate of Ben Duckett to bowl the left-hander for 7 in the sixth over of the morning but Middlesex were not as sharp in the field as they would have liked having not contested the toss.

Alex Wakely was also missed in the slips cordon as he flashed a drive between second and third slip to get off the mark with an edged boundary.

Luke Procter was the other wicket to fall, pinned lbw by a Harris inswinger after carefully making his way to 26.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.

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Related fixture

Sun 19 August
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
The County Ground
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Northamptonshire Northamptonshire
Middlesex Middlesex

Middlesex win by 31 runs