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about 1 month ago | Uncategorised


Match report provided the ECB Reporters' Network


Middlesex, forced to follow-on 175 behind on Tuesday, secured the draw that always looked the most likely outcome on a benign pitch against Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire by batting through the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match one wicket down, with a century apiece for openers Sam Robson and Mark Stoneman.

The result rewarded Tim Murtagh’s team for fighting back from 106 for five on day three to post 376 in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 551 for eight declared. They were 261 for one when the draw was declared.

Robson and Stoneman, who had come through 20 overs unscathed against the home side’s high-quality attack on Tuesday evening, won another battle by reaching lunch with their wickets still intact and put together a partnership of 201 before they were finally parted.

By then Nottinghamshire had opted to rest their frontline bowlers in favour of part-timers, accepting that the chance of a win had gone. By the time the sides shook hands on a draw, captain Steven Mullaney had given at least an over to all his 11 players, including wicketkeeper Tom Moores.

Given the benign nature of the pitch, Nottinghamshire needed early successes if they were to put Middlesex under pressure.

But there were few opportunities, the clearest of which was offered by Stoneman off Dane Paterson on 19 but not taken by Liam Patterson-White at short midwicket.

James Pattinson thought he had Robson leg before on 39 when the former England opener tried to duck a ball that hardly bounced, but was judged to be clearing the stumps when it struck him. The Australian pace man had half a chance of a low caught-and-bowled in the same over but that too came to nothing.

Then Patterson-White and virtually the full complement of five close fielders went up in unison, convinced that Stoneman, on 35, had been caught behind. Again the verdict was not out.

But these were rare and fleeting moments of excitement and one felt for the teachers trying to keep the attention of a large school party occupying a block of seats in the William Clarke Stand. The opening pair’s achievement in staying together for 100 runs for the first time this season did not much impress them.

The pair had added 59 more to their overnight score when lunch arrived at 122 without loss, by which time Ben Slater, the erstwhile part-time off-spinner, had just begun what would by some distance be the longest spell of bowling in his first-class career, stretching to 18 overs before he returned to more customary duties.

By then his fellow opening bat Haseeb Hameed was bowling leg breaks from the other end and Robson was celebrating his second century of the season, both against Nottinghamshire, having faced 247 balls and hit a dozen boundaries.

Steven Mullaney took the new ball but handed in to Ben Duckett, another very occasional off-spinner, but one with a first-class wicket to his name for Northamptonshire in 2017. To great amusement, he picked up his second with only his eighth ball, Robson tickling one down the leg side to be caught by a diving Moores for 108 out of 201.

Stoneman completed his second century of the season off 281 balls. By then Joe Clarke had joined the fun, brushing the rust off his right-arm medium pace for the first time since he bowled two overs for Worcestershire in 2016.

As the clock ticked towards the moment the game could officially be declared a draw, Clarke donned the wicket-keeper’s pads and Moores bowled an over of right-arm medium, the first of his career at any level of senior cricket.


Middlesex face a battle to save a draw after Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire continued to hold the upper hand in their top-of-the-table clash in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Despite an impressive fightback from 106 for five, Middlesex were forced to follow on 175 runs behind after Nottinghamshire had dismissed them for 376.

Openers Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson survived 20 overs to take Middlesex to 63 without loss at the close. They could be in for a tough final day with Nottinghamshire still 112 in front, although a benign pitch may make their task easier.

James Pattinson finished with four for 65 and Dane Paterson three for 97 after John Simpson (92), Max Holden (86) and Luke Hollman (52) had mounted a gritty effort to keep their side in the game in response to Nottinghamshire’s 551 for eight declared.

Middlesex had begun the day needing to regroup after losing Stoneman shortly before Monday’s close, a dismissal that felt like a critical breakthrough by left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White, and Nottinghamshire had their tails up when Pattinson removed nightwatchman Tom Helm with his first ball of the morning, leaving them five down and 445 runs in arrears.

But on a hard, dry surface that was still playing true for the batters, their second attempt at regrouping succeeded, with Simpson and Holden able to make steady progress. Patterson-White set himself for a long day, unable to contain a yelp of exasperation from time to time when the ball spun past the bat without material gain, while none of the seamers was able to create any real drama, even when Pattinson started bowling short at Holden to a 6-3 leg side field in the half-hour before lunch.

Both parties in the partnership went past fifty, in Holden’s case for the fifth time this season, and had added 111 out of 217 for five at lunch, which left them still 334 behind but in better shape than they might have feared.

The afternoon brought more of the same, yet it ended with Nottinghamshire in the ascendancy after both fell without reaching three figures.

Holden went just before the second new ball became available, caught at slip off Ben Slater, who has kept his offspin mothballed for most of his career but has employed it twice to good effect this season in similar circumstances and now has two first-class wickets to his name.

Alex Thomson of Derbyshire was his first victim. Whether Holden was genuinely was a moot point, certainly in the opinion of Holden himself, who appeared to have avoided any contact with a ball that spat up and over his head, dropping to his haunches in apparent disbelief as umpire Paul Baldwin raised the finger.

Whatever the merits of the decision, it ended a partnership of 142 for the sixth wicket. Simpson, though, certainly did get a touch as he perished eight short of what would have been his second hundred of the season, driving at a ball from Pattinson but succeeding only in edging into the hands of Joe Clarke at slip.

He and Hollman had added 73 for the seventh wicket, the 21-year-old leg-spinning all-rounder completing his half-century soon after tea with his 11th boundary.

Martin Andersson’s positive approach helped Middlesex to a fourth batting bonus point and raised the possibility that the follow-on might be avoided.

But those hopes receded as Hollman hooked Paterson into the hands of deep square leg, the South African picking up a third victim when Toby Roland-Jones was lbw trying to work the ball to leg. Pattinson wrapped things up when Andersson miscued to midwicket.


Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire tightened their grip against Middlesex in the LV= Insurance County Championship, posting their highest total at Trent Bridge for seven years after Lyndon James had turned his overnight 90 into a career-best 152.

The 23-year-old all-rounder completed his first century on home soil and went well past his previous best of 108 before miscuing a ball from Middlesex’s young leg-spinner Luke Hollman to be caught at backward point as Nottinghamshire racked up 551 before declaring at eight down.

After a rocky start saw them slip to 37 for three inside ten overs, Mark Stoneman and Max Holden looked to have built a platform for a Middlesex fightback by adding 69 in 24 overs but Stoneman fell for 67 just before close to leave the visitors 106 for four, still 445 runs behind.

Hollman finished with four for 122 as the most successful Middlesex bowler, although only Toby Roland-Jones was able to find any measure of control.

The pace of the cricket made up for the loss of the first session to rain as Nottinghamshire resumed on 378 for four.

The home side suffered a setback in the first over of the day as captain Steven Mullaney, having been struck in the groin by Tim Murtagh, recovered only to misjudge a ball angled in by Murtagh that bowled him with no stroke offered.

James, a tall, elegant right-hander who has come through the Nottinghamshire age groups, moved into three figures with a beautifully-executed off drive and new partner Tom Moores looked equally pleasing on the eye with four boundaries in a couple of overs as Nottinghamshire completed the full set of batting bonus points.

Moores came and went quickly in the event, wafting at one outside off stump to give Murtagh a second wicket in his opening spell, but Middlesex would have to wait 20 overs for another breakthrough during which James and Patterson-White added 91 before the former - dropped at second slip on 78 on the first evening - went down the pitch to Hollman and paid the price for an uncontrolled stroke.

James, who had gone to 150 with a lovely paddle for four followed by a pull for six off Hollman, finished with 19 fours and a six, with Middlesex’s change seamers Toby Helm and Martin Andersson again leaking more boundaries than they would have liked.

Patterson-White and Pattinson added another 53 in eight overs, the Australian quick bowler twice clearing the rope off Hollman, the second of which took Nottinghamshire’s total top side of 550 for the first time on this ground since they scored 600 against Warwickshire in 2015.

A four crashed through the off side as he made room to swing at Helm had taken Patterson-White to his first half-century of the season but when he holed out to long off in the next over, Mullaney decided he had enough.

With 36 overs left in the day, the simple objective for Middlesex was to reach the close with minimal losses but a hostile three-pronged Nottinghamshire pace attack had other ideas.

Sam Robson was given out leg before as Pattinson thudded one into his front pad, Steven Eskinazi was bowled off an inside edge by Luke Fletcher and 22-year-old left-hander Jack Davies, in his second first-class outing of the season, was leg before to Dane Paterson without scoring, leaving Middlesex 37 for three.

Stoneman’s 78-ball half-century looked to have given Middlesex a platform to take into day three but he succumbed to the pressure of fielders round the bat three overs from the close, aiming a fulsome drive at a ball from left arm spinner Patterson-White that spun back to bowl him.


Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire dominated the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship meeting with second-placed Middlesex at Trent Bridge.

There was a second century of the summer for Haseeb Hameed, who made 112 against the same opponents at Lord’s in May, and as Nottinghamshire closed on 378 for four, all-rounder Lyndon James was within reach of his second hundred of 2022 on 90 not out, with skipper Steven Mullaney not far behind with an unbeaten 79.

A pitch with a good covering of grass looked like one that might help the bowlers but Mullaney judged it correctly when he chose to bat first on winning the toss. Luke Hollman, the 21-year-old leg spinner, picked up the wickets of Hameed and Joe Clarke, but Middlesex gave away too many easy runs, while a couple of dropped catches did not help their cause.

The morning session was indicative of what was to come as Nottinghamshire scored 120 runs at more than four an over.

Toby Roland-Jones removed Ben Slater via a fine outside edge with the final ball of his opening over as he and Tim Murtagh denied the home side any early momentum. The Slater wicket enabled Roland-Jones to nudge on to 36 for the season as the leading wicket-taker in the Championship.

Yet Tom Helm and Martin Andersson proved much easier to get away. Hameed helped himself to three boundaries in Andersson’s second over before Ben Duckett did likewise against Helm, who came back to dismiss Duckett for 37 via another edge behind that John Simpson took in front of first slip, but not until the second-wicket partnership had added 74 in 13 and a half overs.

Joe Clarke was quickly into the tempo but the return of Murtagh and Roland-Jones after lunch reined him in. He pulled Hollman to move within a shot of a half-century with his sixth four, only to be caught superbly by Sam Robson at slip as he went to cut the next delivery. The third wicket had put on another 103.

Hameed looked in superb form, completing his hundred by drilling Helm through the covers for his 14th boundary. It had been a near-flawless performance to that point, so it was a surprise to see him depart in the next over, bowled by Hollman making an ugly heave across the line.

Four down for 227 would have been five for 228 had a sharp chance to midwicket been held when Mullaney, on one, biffed away a low full toss by the returning Murtagh. Having created so few chances, Middlesex could ill afford to let any pass by.

It proved to be a costly error as he and James added another 151 by the close, James confirming the good impression he made in his first full season last year by completing his third half-century of the current campaign, pulling Andersson for his sixth four to pass the milestone.

Mullaney, potentially on for his best season in red-ball cricket since he topped 1,000 runs for the only time so far in 2016, soon followed, passing fifty for the fifth time when he hit Hollman over mid-off for his fifth boundary.

Middlesex hoped the second new ball might bring a change of fortune on a pitch that had rarely offered their bowlers any encouragement despite its colour. Murtagh and Roland-Jones induced a few moments of anxiety but when the latter found the edge of James’s bat on 78, Robson failed to hold on at second slip.

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Related fixture

Sun 26 June
LV= Insurance County Championship - Division 2
Trent Bridge
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire
Middlesex Middlesex

Match Drawn