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MIDDLESEX’S seamers sparked a dizzying Surrey collapse as they wrapped up an emphatic 10-wicket win over their London rivals before lunch on day three at Lord’s.
Ethan Bamber had England opener Rory Burns caught behind from the first ball of the day and the domino effect which followed saw the visitors lose their last seven wickets for 25 runs in just over an hour.
Bamber finished with three for 30 and Murtagh two for 30, while Roland Jones mercilessly cleaned up the tail to claim four for 29.
The combination of superb seam bowling and flaky batting left Middlesex just 17 to win, Max Holden and Sam Robson knocking them off without loss off just 15 deliveries.
Surrey had begun just nine runs behind the hosts with seven wickets standing, much of their hopes pinned on skipper Burns, unbeaten overnight on 54.
However, in the most dramatic of starts Bamber caught him off guard before he’d got his feet moving and the outside edge carried to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
His demise brought Jamie Smith to the crease and he should have been sent packing in the next over from Murtagh, but Robson spilt the sharp chance at second slip.
Robson would atone quickly, snapping up the next chance offered by Ben Foakes after he fenced at a wide one from Murtagh.
A welcome boundary from Smith meant Middlesex would have to bat again, but he failed to make the most of his earlier reprieve, Bamber trapping him plumb in front later in the same over.
The visitors were now in disarray and continued to contribute to their own downfall with Toby-Roland-Jones the next home bowler to profit. The former England seamer had just replaced Bamber at the Pavilion End when Jordan Clark played across a straight one and saw his middle stump unceremoniously uprooted.
Murtagh continued the procession by trapping Rikki Clarke lbw and Surrey were down to their last pair when Roland-Jones splayed the stumps for a second time, Reece Topley the man to go.
The end would come in the same over as Roland-Jones, tail up, pinned last man Amar Virdi lbw.
SAM Robson fell just short of his 25th first-class hundred as Middlesex took the initiative on day two of their LV=Insurance County Championship match with Surrey at Lord’s.
The former England opener who made 165 on the season’s opening day against Somerset, battled his way to 95 in a five and a half hour vigil.
Robbie White and Toby Roland-Jones lent valuable support with 72 and 46 not out respectively as the hosts reached 268 all out, a lead of 114.
Surrey reached 105-3 at the close and their hopes may rest on current England opener Rory Burns who will start day three unbeaten on 54.
Middlesex began 40 in arrears with Robson and Robbie White needing just two more for the century stand. These were duly raised from the first ball of the day via Robson’s outside edge which just evaded the clutches of second slip.
Robson’s 50 followed from 123 balls, but runs proved hard to come by on a pitch with variable bounce.
The partnership reached 133 before Jordan Clark made the breakthrough, bowling White off the inside edge.
Clark had Robson dropped at slip soon afterwards, by Rikki Clarke, but struck again when John Simpson edged one from around the wicket into the gloves of Ben Foakes.
Clarke made amends for his spill soon after lunch, bowling Martin Andersson, but Burns spurned another chance to end Robson’s vigil on 84 with a regulation drop at slip. His mishap didn’t prove costly as Reece Topley trapped Robson lbw five short of his century.
Thereafter, Toby Roland-Jones led the quest for runs with a six fours and one huge six into the Mound Stand as the hosts secured a second batting point. Topley finished with four for 56 and Clark three for 58.
The advantage looked all the greater when Middlesex claimed two early scalps in Surrey’s second innings.
Ethan Bamber pinned Mark Stoneman in front and Hashim Amla bagged a pair when Roland-Jones had a similar shout upheld from his first ball of the innings.
Burns though played nicely cutting and driving with authority to reach 50 in 78 balls with six fours.
England teammate Ollie Pope joined Burns in a stand of 59 which threatened to redress the balance, hitting Andersson for three fours in succession.
But the Middlesex man had the last laugh when Pope got too expansive and edged behind to depart for 32.
Topley’s devastating spell of three wickets in nine balls – including a third-ball duck for new Middlesex captain Peter Handscomb – had left the home side reeling at 16 for three.
But Robson and White, who ended the first day on 46 and 52 respectively, stabilised the innings with an unbroken partnership of 98 as Middlesex progressed to 114 for three, just 40 in arrears.
Earlier, Tim Murtagh starred with four for 28 and fellow seamer Toby Roland-Jones took three for 41 as Surrey were bowled out for 154 just before tea.
Rory Burns lost the toss and the Surrey skipper’s struggle for form with the bat continued after his side had been put in, making just eight before he edged Murtagh to second slip.
Murtagh struck again three balls later, turning Hashim Amla inside out to pin the former South Africa batsman leg before and he almost collected a third wicket when Robson failed to hang onto a difficult low chance off Ollie Pope.
Pope, fresh from a double hundred against Leicestershire, signalled his intentions again with two sweetly-struck cover boundaries to reach 22 before he drove across a ball from Roland-Jones and this time Robson took a diving catch.
Roland-Jones’ switch to the Nursery End paid immediate dividends, with his first delivery moving away from Ben Foakes to take the outside edge and reduce Surrey to 72 for four.
Mark Stoneman, who top-scored with 44, and Jamie Smith briefly threatened a recovery, but Murtagh returned after lunch to remove Smith and Jordan Clark in successive overs, while Stoneman feathered one behind off Roland-Jones.
Ethan Bamber and spinner Luke Hollman, on his first-class debut, picked up a wicket apiece, while Rikki Clarke batted sensibly for his 28 to haul Surrey above 150 before he was run out by Nick Gubbins’ pinpoint direct hit from third man.
But the visitors were soon in the ascendancy when Middlesex replied, with Topley having Max Holden caught at second slip before an unplayable yorker unseated Gubbins and then Handscomb lost his off stump later in the same over.
However, White dug in alongside Robson and outscored his partner, passing 50 just before stumps with a crunching cover boundary off Clark.