Match report provided by the ECB Reporters Network
Middlesex wrapped up victory against Glamorgan by an innings and 82 runs inside the first hour of the third day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match in Cardiff.
Glamorgan started the day still needing 111 runs to make Middlesex bat again but having seen the Middlesex tail put on 226 runs in their innings there would have been a glimmer of hope.
Those hopes faded very fast as two wickets fell within the first three overs of the day with Toby Roland-Jones claiming his first five wicket haul of the season.
Middlesex finish this match with 22 points to Glamorgan’s three after the visitors put in a near perfect performance on second and third days of this match.
The two Glamorgan not out batsmen at the start of the day were Sam Northeast and Michael Neser and it needed to be those two who put a real dent in the deficit. That is not what Glamorgan got. Both were dismissed by Toby Roland-Jones within the space of eight balls, Northeast edging to second slip and Neser caught at mid-on.
With just nine runs added to the overnight score Glamorgan were eight wickets down with Middlesex still over a hundred runs in front.
It was Tom Helm how wrapped things up, first trapping Timm van der Gugten lbw before bowling Michael Hogan when Glamorgan’s number 11 had a massive swing at a ball that crashed into his stumps.
The performance of the Middlesex bowlers will leave them with some interesting selection issues going forward. Roland-Jones, Helm, Martin Andersson and Shaheen Shah Afridi were all excellent in this game. With Ethan Bamber and Tim Murtagh waiting in the wings it will be interesting to see who misses out in the coming matches.
For Glamorgan it will be a case of the team who were on the field in this match finding a way to replicate their performances from the victory over Nottinghamshire in the last round of the County Championship.
Middlesex took a complete stranglehold on their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Glamorgan in Cardiff as the home side finished 104 for six in their second innings, still 110 runs behind.
An undefeated John Simpson hundred and a fifty from Toby Roland-Jones meant that Middlesex made 336 all out to give them a 214-run lead on first innings.
James Harris finished with the best bowling figures for Glamorgan, claiming four for 68 against his former county.
When it was Glamorgan’s turn to bat things unfolded much as they had in their first innings with the top order failing once again in the face of some excellent Middlesex bowling.
Simpson batted brilliantly with the tail as Middlesex added 226 runs for their last four wickets. The pitch had looked very lively on day one of this match but had flattened out some as day two wore on. The Glamorgan bowlers struggled to keep things tight as Simpson and the tail took the game away from them.
Roland-Jones reached his fifty from 62 balls as he continued to attack the Glamorgan bowlers at the start of day two. When he was dismissed by Harris for 62 his partnership with Simpson was worth 103.
The punishment didn’t end for Glamorgan when Roland-Jones departed as first Tom Helm and then Shaheen Shah Afridi continued to plunder runs. Afridi made a career best 29 in what is becoming a Middlesex debut to remember.
To sum up how badly things went for Glamorgan with the ball on day two, the three highest partnerships of this match so far have been for the seventh, eighth and ninth Middlesex wickets.
The Glamorgan seamers toiled away fruitlessly and it was left to Marnus Labuschagne to finish off the Middlesex innings, claiming the last two wickets with his leg breaks.
Glamorgan started brightly enough with David Lloyd looking to be positive but when both he and Andrew Salter were bowled in quick succession it had a very similar feel to the home side’s disappointing first innings.
Labuschagne was driving brilliantly as he caressed five balls to the boundary, but as in the first innings it was Afridi who had his measure, a fuller ball trapping the Australian lbw for 23.
Kiran Carson, Chris Cooke and Callum Taylor all went in the space of nine runs to leave Glamorgan 78 for six and in danger of losing the game inside two days. A partnership worth 26 between Sam Northeast and Michael Neser took Glamorgan passed three figures and the game into a third day, but there is a lot of work to do on Saturday to try and prevent anything other than a heavy defeat.
While there have been some poor shots credit must be given to the Middlesex bowlers who were once again consistent and incisive, they and Simpson have put their side in a brilliant position.
16 wickets fell on the first day in the LV=Insurance County Championship match between Glamorgan and Middlesex as both seam bowling attacks made the most of a pitch with some life in it.
Having won the toss Middlesex put the hosts into bat and had them bowled out after the lunch break for just 122. Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up three wickets on his Middlesex debut but it was Toby Roland-Jones who looked the most threatening throughout.
Middlesex finished the day on 171 for six, 49 runs in front of Glamorgan. While the lead is not yet significant, given the speed with which wickets have fallen in this game Middlesex are very well placed to push for their first win of the season.
Middlesex could have had their first wicket from the third ball of the match, David Lloyd getting a big edge off Afridi that was put down at third slip. However, the visitors did not have to wait long for their first breakthrough, with Andrew Salter clipping a ball from Roland-Jones to mid-wicket for a nine-ball duck. Salter has now made 43 runs in five innings as Glamorgan’s makeshift opener.
The real prize came in the ninth over of Glamorgan’s innings when Afridi dismissed the world’s best Test batsman, Marnus Labuschagne, for just 8 runs. The Australian attempted to leave a ball that got big on him and he edged it on to his stumps. When Sam Northeast was out the very next ball caught at second slip Glamorgan were 21 for three and in real trouble.
That became 24 for four in the following over when Kiran Carlson played a big drive at a ball from Roland-Jones that he inside edged to the wicket-keeper. The fifth wicket fell with the score on 30 when Chris Cooke called for a single that wasn’t there and Sam Robson threw down the stumps with Lloyd well short of his ground.
The collapse continued into the second hour of the day with Callum Taylor and Michael Neser both departing in quick succession to leave Glamorgan 52 for seven.
A recovery of sorts followed as useful contributions from Cooke and James Harris taking Glamorgan passed the hundred mark.
Middlesex started brightly in their first innings with Sam Robson making a sprightly 21 from 29 balls before he was trapped lbw by the impressive Harris who was playing his first match against Middlesex since leaving them over the winter.
Mark Stoneman looked more comfortable than any other batter on this surface on his way to a well-made 52 before he edged behind off the bowling of Timm van der Gugten. While Stoneman stood firm wickets tumbled at the other end as Harris held sway, finishing the day with figures of three for 48.
Glamorgan came right back into the match when five wickets fell for 42 runs with Middlesex going from 68 for one to 110 for six but the first partnership of over fifty for the match between John Simpson and Roland-Jones put their team in a strong position at the close.