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MIDDLESEX v GLOUCESTERSHIRE | MATCH UPDATES

4 months ago | Matches

MATCH RESULT - MIDDLESEX WIN BY 78 RUNS

Middlesex 172 all out & 244 all out - 19 points

Gloucestershire 201 all out & 137 all out - 4 points

Tim Murtagh grabbed his fourth five-wicket haul in the County Championship this season as Middlesex rolled Gloucestershire over for 137 to clinch victory inside three days at Merchant Taylors’ School.

Chasing 216, Gloucestershire were blown away by a three-wicket burst from the veteran seamer (5-44), who then returned to break a stubborn eighth-wicket partnership and secure only his side’s second Championship win of the campaign.

In between Murtagh’s spells, Tom Helm and Toby Roland-Jones – who had earlier dragged their side out of the mire with their partnership of 99 – ripped through the middle order as Gloucestershire crashed to 40-7.

Graeme van Buuren defied the home side with a feisty unbeaten half-century, his first of the season, but Roland-Jones finished Gloucestershire off, recording match figures of 10-79 to seal victory by 78 runs.

Resuming their second innings at 96-3, Middlesex’s prospects of victory appeared to have taken an immediate blow as Dawid Malan (8) departed to the first ball of the day, a rising delivery from Josh Shaw that brushed his glove and flew through to Gareth Roderick.

The ball continued to fizz off the surface, making it hard work for the batsmen and George Scott (22) took a nasty blow on the hand when another Shaw delivery spat.

Scott eventually fell to Chad Sayers, with Benny Howell snapping up the slip catch after James Bracey had palmed it up, and Ryan Higgins (4-35) completed his best figures of the season by having Robbie White (10) caught behind.

When David Payne trapped John Simpson (10) lbw, Middlesex were deep in trouble at 124-7, with an overall lead of just 95.

But Roland-Jones (51 not out) and Helm (46) turned the tide as they set a Middlesex record for the eighth wicket against Gloucestershire.

Both batsmen adopted an attacking approach, frustrating Gloucestershire to the extent that they finally turned to the spin of Van Buuren after 145 overs of uninterrupted pace bowling.

However, it was Payne who took the new ball and struck almost immediately by having Helm caught in the slips, just after Roland-Jones had reached his first Championship half-century since September 2017.

He remained unbeaten as Sayers (3-60) cleaned up the Middlesex innings for 244 with the wickets of Nathan Sowter (5) and Murtagh (9), leaving the visitors to chase 216 for victory.

They made the worst possible start, though, as Murtagh removed skipper Chris Dent, caught at third slip, with the first ball of the innings.

The Ireland international struck again twice before tea, overtaking Wayne Daniel in the all-time list of Middlesex’s most prolific bowlers as he dismissed Bracey (15), who was leg before without playing a shot.

Miles Hammond (16), who had survived an earlier lbw appeal, was next to go as he edged to Stevie Eskinazi in the slips – and Gloucestershire’s dramatic slide continued to gather pace after the interval.

Wicketkeeper Simpson sprang to his right to remove Roderick (4) off Helm, who claimed his second victim when Ben Charlesworth (2) edged to third slip, while Howell (1) and Higgins (2) both fell to Roland-Jones.

Payne (16) helped Van Buuren (57no) to add 51 for the eighth wicket, but Murtagh returned to uproot his leg stump and then had Shaw (0) caught behind before Roland-Jones rounded off his side’s success.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY THREE

Middlesex 172 all out & 244 all out

Gloucestershire 201 all out & 35/3

Tim Murtagh struck three times early in Gloucestershire’s second innings as the visitors made an uncertain start to their pursuit of a 216 target against Middlesex.

Murtagh had Chris Dent caught at third slip for a golden duck before trapping Jason Bracey (15) lbw and removing Miles Hammond (16) with the last ball before tea as Gloucestershire reached 35-3, still needing another 181 to clinch victory at Merchant Taylors’ School.

Gloucestershire had looked likely to be chasing a far smaller target after reducing their opponents to 124-7 earlier in the day, with former Middlesex all-rounder Ryan Higgins returning season’s best figures of 4-35.

However, Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Helm dug Middlesex out of that perilous position – when their overall lead stood at only 95 – as they compiled the county’s record eighth-wicket stand against Gloucestershire of 99.

The pair went for their shots, plundering 11 off one over from Josh Shaw as they gradually stretched Middlesex’s advantage and Roland-Jones brought up the 50 partnership with a boundary shortly after lunch.

Having taken the new ball, Gloucestershire finally achieved the breakthrough when David Payne found the edge of Helm’s bat, with Hammond taking a low slip catch to remove him for 46.

Roland-Jones remained undefeated on 51 from 111 balls as Chadd Sayers (3-60) picked up the wickets of Nathan Sowter (5) and Murtagh (9) to wrap up the Middlesex innings at 244.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY THREE

Middlesex 172 all out & 171/7

Gloucestershire 201 all out

Middlesex pair Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Helm launched a counter-attack to frustrate Gloucestershire and keep an enthralling County Championship game in the balance.

Having joined forces with the Seaxes floundering at 124-7 – an overall lead of just 95 – Roland-Jones and Helm added what could prove an invaluable unbroken partnership of 47 to steer their side to 171-7 at lunch.

Josh Shaw had provided Gloucestershire with an ideal start to the day as his first delivery lifted on Dawid Malan (8), who could only glove it into the hands of Gareth Roderick.

That left Middlesex in trouble at 96-4 and the visitors maintained the pressure throughout the first hour, with Chadd Sayers, Ryan Higgins and David Payne all taking a wicket apiece.

However, Roland-Jones opted to go on the offensive, cutting Payne to the boundary and then thrashing Shaw for another two fours in quick succession.

Helm also played his shots and had reached 25 not out at the interval, with Roland-Jones on 24.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


STUMPS - DAY TWO

Middlesex 172 all out & 96/3

Gloucestershire 201 all out

TOBY ROLAND-JONES claimed career-best bowling figures on day two of Middlesex’s County Championship game with Gloucester at Merchant Taylors’ School.

However, former Seaxe Ryan Higgins produced crucial contributions with bat and ball to leave the visitors still ahead of the game at stumps.

Roland-Jones turned back the clock to claim 7-52 as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 201, a score bolstered by Higgins’ combative 61 not out.

And the all-rounder, who left the Lord’s tenants at the end of the 2017 season then took 3-16 to reduce the hosts to 96-3 in their second innings, a lead of just 67.

It had been almost three years since Roland-Jones had taken five wickets in an innings – the last occasion being the Seaxes famous last-day of the season championship-clinching win over Yorkshire.

A Test call-up followed those heroics and at the end of the 2017 season, the right-arm seamer was on the verge of an Ashes call-up – a dream ruined when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the back.

A winter’s rehab appeared to have done the trick only for him to break down again in just the second game of the 2018 campaign, so missing the rest of the season.

He returned at the start of this season, but the early signs hadn’t been good – just five wickets at 101-apiece.

However, here Roland-Jones looked a man transformed, building on his two wickets on the first evening with three more in a devastating 9-ball mid-morning burst.

Sending Gloucestershire skipper Chris Dent’s off-stump cartwheeling backwards was the perfect fillip for a fast bowler in need of a change of fortune. As it turned out it was only the start.

The fourth ball of his next over saw Ben Charlesworth nick one into the hands of Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan at slip and Benny Howell, so often the scourge of the hosts, lasted just two balls before he edged another to the gloves of John Simpson.

Tim Murtagh, back in Middlesex colours after his international stint with Ireland, then removed the obdurate Gareth Roderick (40) LBW to make lunch that bit more indigestible for Dent’s side.

‘Ro-JO’ as he’s affectionately known wasn’t out of the action for long, returning early in the afternoon to have Graeme van Buuren brilliantly taken at first slip by Eskinazi, two-handed just millimetres from the floor.

When Tom Helm had David Payne caught at slip by Malan, Gloucestershire were still 27 in arrears, but Higgins struck six boundaries en route to an excellent fifty.

Josh Shaw proved a great ally in a ninth-wicket stand of 43, before Roland-Jones trapped him LBW to secure the amendment to his career stats.

By the time last man Chadd Sayers fell to Nathan Sowter for a duck, Higgins had secured a batting point – and he hadn’t finished haunting his former employers.

When the hosts began their second dig immediately after tea, Sam Robson and Eskinazi survived a testing period of playing and missing to wipe out the arrears with an opening stand of 53.

Higgins though took ball in hand to break the stand, finding the edge of Robson’s bat for Miles Hammond to snaffle the catch at slip.

One brought two as Higgins struck again soon afterwards, Eskinazi getting a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Roderick who was standing up to the stumps.

And when Higgins bowled Gubbins in his next over Middlesex were back in trouble just 44 ahead.

Malan and George Scott dug in before fading light drove the players off seven overs early. An intriguing day three awaits.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY TWO

Middlesex 172 all out

Gloucestershire 201 all out

A career-best for Toby Roland-Jones couldn’t stop visitors Gloucestershire snatching a precious first-innings lead on the second afternoon of their County Championship clash at Merchant Taylors’ School.

Roland-Jones returned 7-52, the first time he’d ever taken seven in a first-class innings, but Middlesex old-boy Ryan Higgins’ unbeaten half century carried the visitors to 201 all out, a lead of 29.

Paceman Roland-Jones has struggled so far this season after returning from more than a year out with a double stress fracture of the back.

However, having taken the first two Gloucestershire wickets yesterday evening, the former England Test man struck three times in nine balls in the morning session, Bowling skipper Chris Dent (38) and having Ben Charlesworth and Benny Howell caught behind.

He took the first of the afternoon as well when Graeme Van Buuren was brilliantly caught low down at first slip by Stevie Eskinazi.

Tom Helm chipped in with the wicket of David Payne to leave Gloucestershire 145-8, but Higgins struck six fours in reaching 50, his fifth half-century of the campaign.

Josh Shaw provided good support in a ninth-wicket stand of 43, but Roland-Jones returned to trap him LBW to complete his career-best

Higgins (61 not out) ensured a batting bonus point before Nathan Sowter wrapped things up, trapping last man Chadd Sayers in front for a duck.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY TWO

Middlesex 172 all out

Gloucestershire 122/6

Toby Roland-Jones’ first County Championship five-for in almost three years bowled Middlesex back into contention on the second morning against Gloucestershire at Merchant Taylors’ School.

The Seaxes’ quick has suffered two stress fractures of the back since he last achieved the feat in Middlesex’s Championship clinching win over Yorkshire back in 2016.

However, the former England Test star looked to have rediscovered his rhythm as he took three wickets in nine balls to help reduce the visitors to 122-6 at lunch, 50 behind Middlesex’s first innings total of 172.

Tim Murtagh, back from international duty with Ireland, and Tom Helm bowled without luck early on, but the pressure they created was ruthlessly exploited by the rejuvenated Roland-Jones (5-30), who made the breakthrough, uprooting the off-stump of Gloucestershire skipper Chris Dent (38).

His next over brought two in three balls as first Ben Charlesworth and then Benny Howell edged to Stevie Eskinazi and wicketkeeper John Simpson respectively.

Gareth Roderick (40) and Ryan Higgins looked to have steadied the ship, but Murtagh returned to trap the former LBW just before lunch.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


STUMPS - DAY ONE

Middlesex 172 all out

Gloucestershire 59/2

Josh Shaw returned his best figures of the season as Gloucestershire gained the upper hand by bowling Middlesex out on the opening day of their County Championship clash.

The 23-year-old paceman finished with 4-33 as the home side were dismissed for just 172 at Merchant Taylors’ School, with former Middlesex all-rounder Ryan Higgins taking 3-52.

However, Toby Roland-Jones brought the Seaxes back into contention with a fiery spell in the evening session, picking up both wickets to leave Gloucestershire 59-2 at the close.

It was the first time Roland-Jones had captured more than one wicket in a County Championship innings since the first of the two major back injuries that put the brakes on his career in September 2017.

With cloud cover and an outfield moistened by overnight rain, it was unsurprising that Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent spurned the opportunity of a coin toss.

After a 15-minute delay while the surface continued to dry out, the home side made steady progress, passing 50 for only the loss of Stevie Eskinazi (9), leg before to Chadd Sayers (2-34).

Initially, it was the outfield that appeared to cause the most problems for Middlesex, with Sam Robson sauntering down the pitch after hitting what looked a certain boundary – then belatedly running a quick two when the ball stuck in the grass.

Even after Sam Robson (23) nibbled at a widish delivery from Shaw and was caught behind, Nick Gubbins (26) and Dawid Malan (28) saw their side through to lunch without any further alarms.

Malan settled down to play his shots, the pick of them a crisp cover drive off Shaw, but he then attempted to pull him through the leg side and sent a top edge ballooning into the hands of mid-on.

Four balls later, Shaw moved one away from Gubbins to take the edge – and the tone of the innings shifted as wickets began to tumble.

Higgins inflicted some serious damage on his former county, having Robbie White (9) caught behind and pinning Tom Helm (4) lbw before Nathan Sowter (3) played on.

John Simpson (27) gave Higgins the charge, pulling him for four and then lifting two fuller-length deliveries over the top with the same outcome.

But Simpson’s miscued shot off Shaw brought the Middlesex innings to a close, with the bowler racing towards square leg to take a skier and register his fourth wicket.

That left Gloucestershire to negotiate 19 overs and Dent (27 not out) and Miles Hammond made a solid start by scoring 31 from the first eight.

Dent then cut Roland-Jones’ first ball to the boundary – but the third left Hammond (21) and took the edge for Malan to scoop up the chance at second slip.

James Bracey lasted just four deliveries and failed to score as he fell to Roland-Jones in similar fashion, with Eskinazi taking the catch this time.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY ONE

Middlesex 131/6

Josh Shaw struck twice in the same over to put Gloucestershire in command of their County Championship clash with Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School.

Put in to bat, the home side had made steady progress to reach 98-2 during the afternoon session before Shaw removed both Dawid Malan and Nick Gubbins in the space of five deliveries.

The Gloucestershire seamer, who had also claimed the wicket of Sam Robson earlier in the day, bowled tidily throughout as Middlesex struggled to 131-6 at tea.

Chadd Sayers made the initial breakthrough for the visitors, trapping Stevie Eskinazi (9) lbw before Robson fished at a ball from Shaw that left him and sailed into the gloves of Gareth Roderick.

Malan (28) and Gubbins (26) dug in with an attritional third-wicket partnership of 47 and had seemed to be getting on top of the bowlers when both fell in quick succession.

The Middlesex captain swung across the line and miscued to mid-on, with Graeme van Buuren running in to take the catch, before Shaw got one to move away from Gubbins and found the edge.

David Payne and former Middlesex all-rounder Ryan Higgins also picked up wickets prior to the interval, accounting for George Scott (12) and Robbie White (9) respectively.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY ONE

Middlesex 70/2

Gloucestershire’s bowlers took advantage of the swinging conditions to make early inroads after putting Middlesex in on the first morning at Merchant Taylors’ School.

With overnight rain delaying the start by 15 minutes and plenty of cloud overhead, it was no surprise that visiting captain Chris Dent exercised his right to bowl first.

Having taken two early boundaries off Chadd Sayers, Stevie Eskinazi (9) was the first to depart, lbw pushing forward to the same bowler.

Sam Robson looked strong on the front foot and appeared to be well set on 23 when he nibbled at an outswinger from the consistent Josh Shaw and was caught behind.

Nick Gubbins survived a leg before appeal by Sayers to reach 15 not out, with captain Dawid Malan (11no) alongside him as Middlesex went to lunch at 70-2.

Match updates provided by ECB Reporters Network.

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Related fixture

Sun 07 July
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
Merchant Taylors' School
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Middlesex Middlesex
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire

Middlesex won by 78 runs