MIDDLESEX WIN BY AN INNINGS AND 80 RUNS

Middlesex extended their leadership of the Specsavers County Championship with an emphatic innings and 80-run defeat of Durham inside three days at Lord’s.

In charge from start to finish, James Franklin’s side remain on course for the county’s first title since 1993 after wrapping up their fourth win this season and their first in NW8 of the summer. Second-day centuries from Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton, coupled with excellent match figures of nine for 102 from off-spinner Ollie Rayner, ensured Middlesex were full value for their 22-point win, while Durham travelled home with only two points.

Batting again before lunch and in the face of a first innings deficit of 322, Durham received an early let-off with Mark Stoneman the beneficiary. Stoneman was dropped off Tim Murtagh, when edging to slip to Stephen Eskinazi, who put the low chance to his left down.

The Durham opener’s luck evaded him on 25 when, in aiming to work to leg, he clipped a return catch to Rayner who snaffled a fine catch ‘goalkeeper style’ diving to the left of the stumps. Rayner struck again three overs later to snare Keaton Jennings for 45. Jennings who, with his score on eight became the first player of the season to reach 1,000 championship runs, played inside the line of a turning delivery to depart lbw.

Three deliveries later Scott Borthwick followed the procession when he too went lbw to 12 after playing back in defence and missing a James Franklin grubber. Michael Richardson hung around 43 minutes for 2 before he too went back to a turning delivery from Rayner to be wrapped flush in front and depart leg before. Five overs after tea Murtagh deservedly opened his wicket account with a beautiful off-cutter that nipped up the Lord’s slope and through the gate of Jack Burnham’s defensive push.

Rayner was replaced at the Pavilion End by Harry Podmore who made two vital breakthroughs in the space of six deliveries. The young firebrand slipped one down the Lord’s slope to slip the top of Paul Collingwood’s off stump then, with his tail up, Podmore extracted extra bounce to have Adam Hickey caught behind without scoring. Podmore gave way at the Pavilion End to Rayner, who was soon back among the wickets by turning one out of the rough to have Paul Coughlin caught at short leg. Leg-spinner Dawid Malan ended Mark Wood’s cameo, turning one to have him caught at slip, leaving Rayner to take five for 85 - the ninth five-wicket haul of his career - by having Graham Onions caught at mid-on.

The third day started with Middlesex extending their overnight score 408 for six to reach 536 for nine before James Franklin declared with his side 332 runs ahead. Batting on for 19 overs, the hosts added a further 128 runs with Franklin and Toby Roland-Jones putting Durham’s weary attack to the sword. Roland-Jones biffed four sixes and six fours in a 47-ball 66 in adding exactly 100 in 13.4 overs with Franklin.

Middlesex lost Ollie Rayner in the third over of the third day, bowled for 5 by a fiery Mark Wood, but that only brought Roland-Jones in to join forces with Franklin. Roland-Jones’s first six sailed over mid-wicket off Graham Onions, the second a huge hit on to the lower Pavilion balcony off Adam Hickey, and then the big Middlesex fast bowler launched successive deliveries from leg-spinner Scott Borthwick into the Grand Stand. He was finally held on the deep mid-wicket ropes, seeking another maximum off Hickey, but the young off-spinner was then belted for another six by Tim Murtagh over long on before driving Borthwick to long off on 12 and triggering Franklin’s declaration.

 

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TEA UPDATE

DURHAM 120-4

Trail Middlesex by 212 runs

Middlesex off-spinner Ollie Rayner has taken his match haul of wickets to seven as Durham continue their seemingly inevitable slide toward a Specsavers County Championship defeat at Lord’s.

The visitors went in at tea on 120 for four in their second innings and trailing by 212 after Rayner followed his four for 17 first-innings burst with three for 40 second time around.   

Batting again 25 minutes before lunch, Durham received a couple of early let-offs with Mark Stoneman the beneficiary on both occasions. With only a single to his name Stoneman was dropped behind by John Simpson when glancing against Tim Murtagh, who was the unlucky bowler again soon after lunch when Stoneman edged to slip to see Stevie Eskinazi down a low chance to his left.

The Durham opener’s luck evaded him on 25 when, in aiming to work to leg, he clipped a return catch to Rayner who snaffled a fine catch ‘goalkeeper style’ diving to the left of the stumps.      

Rayner struck again three overs later to snare Keaton Jennings for 45. Jennings who, with his score on eight became the first player of the season to reach 1,000 championship runs, played inside the line of a turning delivery to depart lbw.

Three deliveries later Scott Borthwick followed the procession when he too went lbw to 12 after playing back in defence and missing a James Franklin grubber.   

Michael Richardson hung around 43 minutes for 2 before he too went back to a turning delivery from Rayner to be wrapped flush in front and depart leg before.

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LUNCH UPDATE

DURHAM 204 all out & 34-0 
MIDDLESEX 536-9 (dec)

Toby Roland-Jones biffed four sixes and six fours in a 47-ball 66 at Lord’s this morning, putting on 100 in 13.4 overs with James Franklin to set up a Middlesex declaration at 536 for 9 – a first innings lead of 332 against Durham. 

In 25 minutes’ batting before lunch, Durham reached 34 for no wicket in their second innings as they looked to bat for more than five sessions to save the match. Middlesex, meanwhile, are in position to press for a victory likely to stretch their lead at the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One.  

Keaton Jennings, Durham’s opener, became the first batsman to reach 1,000 championship runs for the season when he went to 8 with a sumptuous cover driven four off Roland-Jones. At lunch Jennings was unbeaten on 20 and Mark Stoneman, his fellow left-hander, was 14 not out.

Resuming on 408 for 6, in reply to Durham’s inadequate 204, Middlesex lost Ollie Rayner in the third over of the third day, bowled for 5 by a fiery Mark Wood, but that only brought Roland-Jones in to join Franklin, who was on 10 not out overnight.

Roland-Jones’s first six sailed over mid wicket off Graham Onions, the second was a huge hit on to the lower Pavilion balcony off Adam Hickey, and then the big Middlesex fast bowler launched successive deliveries from leg spinner Scott Borthwick into the Grand Stand.

He was finally held on the deep mid wicket ropes, seeking another maximum off Hickey, but the young off spinner was then belted for another six by Tim Murtagh over long on before driving Borthwick to long off on 12 and triggering the declaration by Franklin, who remained 56 not out from 85 balls, with seven fours.