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MATCH REPORT | MIDDLESEX V DURHAM

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MATCH REPORT | MIDDLESEX V DURHAM

Match report provided by the ECB Reporters' Network.


DAY FOUR

John Simpson equalled the record for wicketkeeping dismissals in a match at Lord’s with nine catches as Middlesex beat Durham by six wickets on the final day of their LV = Insurance clash.

The diminutive gloveman achieved the feat for the second time in his career at the home of cricket with five victims in Durham’s second innings to add to his four from the first. Toby Roland-Jones was the main beneficiary of Simpson’s latest entry into the county’s record books, returning six for 35, while Ethan Bamber took three for 18 as Durham were dismissed for 188 despite 60 from skipper Scott Borthwick.

Set 117 in 44 overs to win, the hosts made heavy weather of the chase before skipper Peter Handscomb, who it was confirmed in an afternoon press release would leave the club at the end of the match to join up with Australia-A, signed off with 39 not out to see them home.

For much of the morning there a little sign of the drama to come as Borthwick and night-watchman Matthew Salisbury batted with relative comfort on a placid surface.

Borthwick pulled Roland-Jones to the mid-wicket fence before driving Martin Anderson twice in an over through the same region. Salisbury too played with increasing confidence, garnering three boundaries from one especially expensive Andersson over.

Borthwick eased to 50 with 10 fours and 20 minutes before lunch the game appeared to be meandering aimlessly, before the reintroduction of Roland-Jones gave it a much needed kiss of life.

The seamer’s loosener looked set to be given the full treatment, but Borthwick under-edged the offering into his middle stump which was duly uprooted from the turf.

If that wicket owed a little to lady luck, the prize scalp of England captain Ben Stokes two balls later was down to inspiration. Roland-Jones found a smidgeon of away movement to find the edge and Sam Robson took a smart catch at second slip.

And minutes later Robson grabbed an even better one inches from the turf to send Ned Eckersley packing for just two off the bowling of Bamber, leaving Durham six down at lunch and just 44 in front.

Salisbury survived the mayhem to eclipse his previous career-best of 41 immediately after the resumption, but a maiden first-class 50 would elude him as Bamber found the edge for Simpson to take his seventh catch of the game. And seven became eight when Bamber, awarded his county cap on Thursday, struck again to remove one of Durham’s first-innings heroes Liam Trevaskis.

The Durham response was to counter-attack, Ben Raine and Brydon Carse unfurling a succession of meaty blows, hitting Luke Hollman out of the attack and greeting the return of Tim Murtagh with similar disdain. It needed Roland-Jones to return to break the stand of 41, Simpson again the catcher.

There wouldn’t be a record 10th as after Raine (39 not out) deposited Murtagh into the Mound Stand, the bowler had Chris Rushworth caught by Roland-Jones for a duck.

Robson was an early victim of Raine, nibbling at one he could have left and there were nerves when fellow opener Mark Stoneman edged spinner Trevaskis to Eckersley for a brisk 29. Josh De Caires did little to ease those fears when bowled by Borthwick and Max Holden edged Trevaskis to slip with 29 still needed.

But Simpson twice planted Borthwick long hops into the Mound Stand as he and Handscomb saw Middlesex over the line to send them back to the top of the Division Two table.


DAY THREE

Toby Roland-Jones tore through Durham’s top order at Lord’s to strengthen Middlesex’s chances of pressing for victory on the final day.

Roland-Jones dismissed the visitors’ first three batters in quick succession to leave them reeling at 18 for three in their second innings after Middlesex had secured a handy lead of 72.

That advantage was secured by Sam Robson – who came close to registering a third consecutive LV= Insurance County Championship hundred with 84 – and Max Holden, whose 71 was his third half-century of the campaign.

Martin Andersson built on those solid foundations by hitting a belligerent 62, while Ben Stokes finished with four for 72, but the England Test captain’s qualities with the bat may also be required if Durham, who closed on 25 for three, are to save the game.

Stokes delivered a fiery initial spell from the Nursery End after Middlesex began the day at 88 for two, sending down a bouncer that dealt Robson a glancing blow on the chest.

Robson recovered to reach his 50, driving the all-rounder through gully for four, but he lost overnight partner Josh de Caires soon afterwards, caught behind swishing at a Stokes delivery that seamed and left him.

Middlesex skipper Peter Handscomb also departed during the morning session, bowled around his legs for 14 to provide some reward for a tidy stint by Ben Raine.

However, Holden eased himself into the groove, looking productive on both sides of the wicket and nudging Matt Salisbury twice to the third man boundary as he and Robson put together a partnership of 63.

Although Raine returned to have Robson caught behind, Holden progressed to his half-century, surviving a close call when he pulled Stokes and Brydon Carse, fielding on the square leg boundary, could only assist the ball over the rope.

The left-hander’s good fortune ran out when Chris Rushworth (three for 60) took the new ball, persuading him to nibble at a rising delivery outside off stump and hand Ned Eckersley his third catch of the day.

John Simpson’s dismissal immediately after tea, neatly caught on the fence by Raine for 41, slowed Middlesex’s scoring rate, yet Andersson raised it again by clattering Carse for a flurry of boundaries to overtake Durham’s total of 350.

Andersson drove Salisbury for successive fours, lifting his partnership with Hollman (41) to exactly 100 and equalling the Seaxes’ record eighth-wicket stand against Durham, but the seamer took instant revenge, bowling him through the gate.

Stokes removed Hollman and Tim Murtagh to wrap up the innings for 422, before Roland-Jones cemented Middlesex’s advantage by having both openers caught behind in his first over.

Keegan Petersen was the third batter to depart, lbw to Roland-Jones for five, but Scott Borthwick and nightwatchman Salisbury battled through to stumps.


DAY TWO

Durham’s Liam Trevaskis missed out on the opportunity of a maiden LV= Insurance County Championship hundred on a truncated second day against Middlesex at Lord’s.

The 23-year-old all-rounder, who posted his first-class best of 88 at Hove last month, was left stranded on 80 after running out of partners as Durham were dismissed for exactly 350.

Toby Roland-Jones finished with figures of four for 72, with Seaxes’ wicketkeeper John Simpson claiming four dismissals – including an eye-catching one-handed dive to remove Brydon Carse.

England’s new Test captain Ben Stokes made the breakthrough when Middlesex replied, having former team-mate Mark Stoneman caught at slip in his first over as the home side closed on 88 for two.

Heavy rain in the morning delayed the resumption of play until 2.40pm, when Tim Murtagh (three for 43) swiftly made inroads by taking wickets in successive overs.

Ned Eckersley could only add a single to his overnight 57 before being caught behind off Murtagh’s outswinger, while Ben Raine departed without scoring as a leading edge sailed tamely into the hands of mid-on.

However, Trevaskis advanced to his half-century with a confident cover drive for four off Roland-Jones and Carse (28) batted pugnaciously alongside him as the pair put on 58 for the eighth wicket.

Carse made a late, successful bid to secure a third batting bonus point, hammering Luke Hollman for successive sixes and lifting Durham above 300 with just a ball to spare before the cut-off point.

But he eventually perished to an acrobatic leg-side catch by Simpson, who reacted smartly to leap to his left and pouch Carse’s miscued hook one-handed at full stretch.

The keeper went on to collect two further catches, both off Roland-Jones, who polished off the visitors’ tail on the stroke of tea.

Chris Rushworth almost struck an early blow when Middlesex replied, finding the edge of Sam Robson’s bat with the fifth ball of the innings, but Durham skipper Scott Borthwick juggled and spilled the chance at second slip.

Robson capitalised on that let-off, finding the leg-side boundary with some regularity as he and Stoneman (41) added 86 before the left-hander – having just hit Stokes twice to the short boundary – slashed to first slip.

Nightwatchman Ethan Bamber lasted just two balls before Rushworth nipped one back to hit his stumps, with bad light halting play at the end of the over.


DAY ONE

Ben Stokes was one of two victims for Luke Hollman on an absorbing opening day of the LV = Insurance County Championship clash between Middlesex and Durham at Lord’s.

Two weeks away from leading out England in his first match as Test captain and fresh from hitting 17 sixes against Worcestershire a fortnight ago, Stokes was clearly in the mood to make a statement.

But Hollman, who’d been on the receiving of a tousing, not once but twice in last week’s draw with Nottinghamshire, took his scalp for just 15 in surely the biggest moment of his young career so far.

The leg-spinner would return figures of two for 49 while Toby Roland-Jones took two for 40, but Ned Eckersley made an unbeaten 57 against the county of his birth to guide the visitors to 256-5 and leave the game delicately poised.

For much of the morning Middlesex’s decision to bowl first looked a strange one with the ball barely deviating off gun-barrel straight, meaning Alex Lees, in a dress rehearsal for the first Test, and fellow opener Michael Jones got off to a quick start.

Save for one lbw shout and a loose drive that flew wide of second slip Lees looked in good touch, four boundaries carrying to 44 before, returning for his second spell, Roland-Jones trapped him lbw, though the England man’s reaction suggested he’d hit it.

Jones, who’d begun fluently, straight driving Roland-Jones for four and twice sending Ethan Bamber deliveries to the fence, was increasingly becalmed as the home bowlers dried up the runs. Reward came soon after lunch when Jones pushed tentatively at Tim Murtagh and inside edged onto his stumps.

Then Holman took centre-stage, enticing Durham skipper Scott Borthwick to injudiciously cut one too close to him and loose his stumps.

That brought Stokes to the crease and he signalled his intent to dominate immediately by reverse sweeping the leg-spinner to the third man fence. He muscled his way to 15 in the blink of an eye, but Middlesex skipper Peter Handscomb stuck by his bowler and was rewarded for his bravery. Stokes gave Hollman the charge, but the all-rounder tossed one a little wider with the result the lofted drive got more height than distance and Roland-Jones gobbled up the catch at deep mid-off.

At the other end, South-African international Keegan Petersen nudged and deflected his way his way into the 40s almost unnoticed, but two short of 50 his first loose shot saw him slash Roland-Jones into the hands of Josh De Caires at backward point.

His departure left Hillingdon-born Eckersley as the senior batter and the wicketkeeper set about frustrating the hosts. His cover-drive off Roland-Jones just after the second new ball was taken was a candidate for shot of the day and he reached a deserved 50 shortly before stumps.

His partner Liam Trevaskis was granted a life on 21 when Sam Robson grassed a difficult chance low to right at second slip, but scare survived he and Eckersley’s sixth-wicket stand had realised 73 by the close.

Toby Roland-Jones tore through Durham’s top order at Lord’s to strengthen Middlesex’s chances of pressing for victory on the final day.

Roland-Jones dismissed the visitors’ first three batters in quick succession to leave them reeling at 18 for three in their second innings after Middlesex had secured a handy lead of 72.

That advantage was secured by Sam Robson – who came close to registering a third consecutive LV= Insurance County Championship hundred with 84 – and Max Holden, whose 71 was his third half-century of the campaign.

Martin Andersson built on those solid foundations by hitting a belligerent 62, while Ben Stokes finished with four for 72, but the England Test captain’s qualities with the bat may also be required if Durham, who closed on 25 for three, are to save the game.

Stokes delivered a fiery initial spell from the Nursery End after Middlesex began the day at 88 for two, sending down a bouncer that dealt Robson a glancing blow on the chest.

Robson recovered to reach his 50, driving the all-rounder through gully for four, but he lost overnight partner Josh de Caires soon afterwards, caught behind swishing at a Stokes delivery that seamed and left him.

Middlesex skipper Peter Handscomb also departed during the morning session, bowled around his legs for 14 to provide some reward for a tidy stint by Ben Raine.

However, Holden eased himself into the groove, looking productive on both sides of the wicket and nudging Matt Salisbury twice to the third man boundary as he and Robson put together a partnership of 63.

Although Raine returned to have Robson caught behind, Holden progressed to his half-century, surviving a close call when he pulled Stokes and Brydon Carse, fielding on the square leg boundary, could only assist the ball over the rope.

The left-hander’s good fortune ran out when Chris Rushworth (three for 60) took the new ball, persuading him to nibble at a rising delivery outside off stump and hand Ned Eckersley his third catch of the day.

John Simpson’s dismissal immediately after tea, neatly caught on the fence by Raine for 41, slowed Middlesex’s scoring rate, yet Andersson raised it again by clattering Carse for a flurry of boundaries to overtake Durham’s total of 350.

Andersson drove Salisbury for successive fours, lifting his partnership with Hollman (41) to exactly 100 and equalling the Seaxes’ record eighth-wicket stand against Durham, but the seamer took instant revenge, bowling him through the gate.

Stokes removed Hollman and Tim Murtagh to wrap up the innings for 422, before Roland-Jones cemented Middlesex’s advantage by having both openers caught behind in his first over.

Keegan Petersen was the third batter to depart, lbw to Roland-Jones for five, but Scott Borthwick and nightwatchman Salisbury battled through to stumps.

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Related fixture

Thu 19 May
LV= Insurance County Championship - Division 2
Lord's
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Middlesex Middlesex
Durham Cricket Durham Cricket

Middlesex won by 6 wickets
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