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Match report provided by the ECB Reporters Network


MATCH DRAWN - Middlesex: 407-8 | Leicestershire: 306 all out

Middlesex 15 points drew with Leicestershire 12 points.

Middlesex’s Vitality County Championship clash with Leicestershire ended in a damp squib of a draw with no play possible on the final day.

The hosts led by 101 with two wickets left going into day four, but the rain which washed out the first day’s action returned with a vengeance early on the final morning drenching the outfield.

Umpires Paul Baldwin and Robert White gave the ground every chance to recover, calling an early tea at 3:10pm following a 2:35pm inspection. However, further rain in the interim led to the abandonment at 3:25pm.

.The hosts earn 15 points to Leicestershire’s 12 leaving them both on 68 points, six shy of leaders Sussex. Middlesex however sit above the Foxes in the table on games won.


Sam Robson and Leus du Plooy shared a Middlesex record third-wicket stand against Leicestershire of 252 to put the home side in control of their Vitality County Championship clash at Lord’s.

Robson marked his return from a thumb injury by top-scoring with a meticulous 162, while Du Plooy struck 131 from 191 balls – his second century since moving from Derbyshire over the winter – to help the Seaxes post 407 for eight.

That amounted to a first-innings lead of 101, with a quartet of bowlers – Ben Mike, Scott Currie, Ben Green and Rehan Ahmed – all picking up two wickets for the Foxes.

However, with the first day washed out entirely and a gloomy weather forecast for Monday, a draw looks the most probable outcome.

With one wicket falling on the previous evening, Leicestershire doubled that tally in the first over of the day as Max Holden drove outside off stump at Currie and was taken low at slip without increasing his overnight score of 26.

However, that proved to be the visitors’ solitary success of the morning session as Robson and Du Plooy accumulated runs steadily with only rare cause for concern.

Robson, having already clipped a couple of boundaries square off his pads, survived a scare on 39 when he glanced Currie on the leg side and wicketkeeper Ben Cox, springing to his left, got a glove to the ball but could not make it stick.

A cleaner leg-glance off Tom Scriven took the opener past 50, while Du Plooy opted to give Green the charge, moving down the track to hoist a short delivery into the Mound Stand for six.

Rehan received similar treatment when he came on for a pre-lunch spell, with Du Plooy whipping the England leg-spinner over the top for four and cutting his next ball for three to reach a half-century.

Middlesex upped the tempo after the interval and Robson won the race with his partner to three figures, driving Scriven through midwicket for a three to post the landmark from 198 balls.

Scriven, who got the ball to swing from the Nursery End, was unlucky to remain wicketless – persuading Du Plooy to edge to Peter Handscomb at leg slip but the ex-Middlesex skipper was unable to hang on.

Still 16 short of his hundred at the time, Du Plooy took advantage of that let-off to complete a ton and the second new ball actually proved fruitful for the batters, who soon accelerated beyond Leicestershire’s total of 306.

Robson capitalised on a trio of short-pitched offerings from Mike, pulling him for two fours and a six before tea, but the Foxes bowlers finally began to make inroads during the final session.

Du Plooy was first to depart, feathering one behind from Currie and Ryan Higgins was bowled swinging at Green, who also claimed the scalp of Robson, neatly caught at backward point to end his six-hour stay at the crease.

Nathan Fernandes maintained Middlesex’s momentum with a pugnacious 25-ball knock of 31, including sixes off Green and Rehan before holing out to deep midwicket, while Toby Roland-Jones also perished in pursuit of quick runs prior to bad light intervening.


Peter Handscomb’s first century at Lord’s rescued Leicestershire from early trouble as their Vitality County Championship clash with hosts Middlesex finally got underway on day two.

The Australian never passed 50 on home turf in two partial seasons at the home of cricket, but the former Seaxes skipper haunted them here with a stoic effort spread over 304 minutes and 188 balls as the visitors reached 306 having earlier stumbled to 83-4. Handscomb shared stands of 64 with Rehan Ahmed, 42, and 82 with Tom Scriven, 46 – the latter partnership for the ninth wicket.

Middlesex, guilty of dropping both Handscomb on 48 and Ahmed on 18, employed some bizarre fields over the course of the day, conceding a plethora of runs to a too often vacant third area. However, there were some inspired bowling changes with wickets falling in the first over of a bowler’s spell on three separate occasions. Ethan Bamber proved the pick of the Middlesex attack with 4-68.

The hosts, left 18 overs to bat and closed 64-1, Mark Stoneman the wicket to fall.

Another quirk of an interesting day meant Middlesex were onto their fourth ball before 36 overs were completed, the previous three having gone out of shape.

After an opening day lost entirely to rain it came as little surprise, despite bright overhead conditions, that home skipper Toby Roland-Jones opted to bowl first on winning the toss, yet Leicestershire made a fast start with 27 coming off the first four overs.

The first change of ball in only the fifth over brought a breakthrough when Bamber swung one into Rishi Patel which straightened off the pitch and crashed into his off stump.

Marcus Harris, who’d already edged two through the slips in a skittish effort, soon followed, pinned lbw in Bamber’s next over and when Lewis Hill edged Ryan Higgins’ third ball to slip the Foxes were 50-3.

Louis Kimber threatened briefly before lazily hooking Henry Brookes’ fourth ball of the day down the throat of deep square to leave Leicestershire in some trouble.

Handscomb though had begun positively, despatching a Roland-Jones half-volley to the fence and with Ahmed for company they reached lunch without further loss.

The spinner was given a life soon after the resumption when Stephen Eskinazi dropped a regulation catch at slip – Bamber the luckless bowler. The reprieve seemed to liberate the all-rounder who twice lifted Bamber over mid-wicket for four before the seamer held a caught and bowled to finally get his man.

A trio of Bens, Cox, Mike, and Green didn’t detain us for long and at 208-8 the hosts must have thought they were through.

However, Handscomb, dropped on 48 by Roland-Jones – a tough return caught and bowled – found an ally in Scriven who played with enterprise to strike four boundaries.

It meant Handscomb, who drove and deflected the ball well throughout the day, was only three short of a century and Leicestershire within 10 of a second batting bonus point when Scriven smeared a mishit to Max Holden at mid-wicket to fall four short of a sixth first-class 50.

Handscomb though would reach his landmark with the help of nine fours and add one more boundary before being last out, giving Bamber a fourth victim.

Stoneman fell early in Middlesex reply, bowled around his legs by Mike, but Sam Robson, playing for the first time since injuring his thumb in the opening game of the season against Glamorgan, and the in-form Max Holden batted through to stumps without undue alarm.

Before play began, a poignant minute’s silence was observed in memory of Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker, who tragically passed away earlier this week, aged just 20.

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Related fixture

Fri 03 May
Vitality County Championship - Division 2
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Middlesex Middlesex
Leicestershire Leicestershire

Match Drawn