183 & 372
343 & 213-8
Middlesex win by 2 wickets
Glamorgan v Middlesex


Despite 5/99 by Mason Crane, Middlesex completed a two-wicket victory on the final day of their Vitality County Championship match against Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens as they successfully chased a target of 213 thanks to an unbroken ninth wicket stand of 52 between Jack Davies and Tom Helm.
Day 1


Evening Update

Glamorgan were 158-8 when play began after tea with Mason Crane and Andy Gorvin looking to eke out further runs after a post-lunch session when their side had lost six wickets for 86 runs. Luke Hollman and Tom Helm resumed the bowling duties and after dabbing both bowlers for a couple of runs, Crane twice pulled Helm to fine-leg for four.

But with the total on 182, Helm removed Gorvin who miscued a pull and spooned the ball to Toby Roland-Jones at mid-wicket. Jamie McIlroy joined Crane but his tenure of the crease was a brief one as next over he was bowled by Luke Hollman.

There were 21 overs remaining the day’s quota as Sam Robson and Mark Stoneman began Middlesex’s reply with McIlroy and Harris sharing the new ball. Stoneman nurdled McIlroy for four to third man before flicking Harris to backward square-leg for a second boundary. He repeated the latter stroke later in the over before Robson nurdled McIlroy to third man for four.

Stoneman again flicked Harris to fine-leg before driving him through backward point, prior to cover-driving Gorvin’s first delivery. But Gorvin soon settled into a probing line and with Harris switching to the River End it was not until the 17th over that Middlesex reached the 50-mark.

Afternoon Report

Some probing bowling by Middlesex during the second hour had restricted Glamorgan to 72-2 by the lunch interval and when play resumed Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson were looking to build on this steady start. However, it was Middlesex who enjoyed the best of the early exchanges as Ethan Bamber and Tom Helm continued the bowling duties. Carlson cover-drove Bamber’s first delivery for four, but departed to the final ball of the over as he square-cut a delivery into the gully where Ryan Higgins completed a smart low catch.

76-3 saw the arrival of Colin Ingram, the leading run-scorer in the competition, and he began with a coruscating cover drive against Bamber, followed by a deft nurdle for three. However, with the total on 90 Helm bowled Northeast with a ball that jagged back in, before three balls later he bowled Chris Cooke who shouldered arms. 92-5 then became 92-6 as Ingram bottom-edged a delivery from Bamber onto his stumps.

James Harris brought up the 100 by flicking Roland-Jones to the ropes at fine-leg, but two balls later he shouldered arms and was also clean bowled. With Zain ul Hassan dropping anchor at the other end, Mason Crane flicked Higgins for four to fine-leg before pulling Roland-Jones for another boundary. ul Hassan then on-drove Higgins for four prior to nurdling Roland-Jones through the gully for a further four.

Ul Hassan also dabbed Higgins through backward point for four but with the total on 151 he reverse-swept Luke Hollman into the hands of Leus du Plooy at leg-slip.

Morning Update

The Welsh county welcomed back Marnus Labuschagne, with the Australian replacing Billy Root in the batting line-up from the victory over Sussex, whilst there was one change in the bowling unit with Jamie McIlroy playing instead of Mir Hamza who is rested for this match. Labuschagne duly opened the batting with Eddie Byrom after Middlesex opted to bowl first with Ethan Bamber and Toby Roland-Jones sharing the new ball.

Byrom began by off-driving Roland-Jones for four before Labuschagne, in his first innings since March in the Australia-New Zealand Test, nonchalantly flicked Bamber to the boards at mid-wicket followed by a straight drive for four against Roland-jones. Byrom also off-drove the visiting captain followed by a flick to square-leg in an over which yielded a trio of fours. Labuschagne also unfurled a high-class cover drive against Roland-Jones before Byrom did the same against Bamber.

Labuschagne greeted the introduction of Tom Helm at the Cathedral Road End by drilling him through extra-cover and backward point for further boundaries. But Helm gained revenge in his next over as, with the total on 44, Labuschagne edged an expansive drive into the gloves of Jack Davies. His departure saw the arrival of Sam Northeast who scored an aggregate of 349 runs in the match at Lord’s last month.

He began watchfully as Bamber, Helm and then Ryan Higgins all bowled a nagging and parsimonious line as the scoring rate, after a furious start, dipped with Glamorgan only scoring a series of singles in the next fifteen overs. Higgins then claimed the second wicket as Byrom gloved a short ball into Davies’ hands as Kiran Carlson joined Northeast shortly before the interval.




Day 2

Evening Report

The rain eased around 1630 with the umpires, after an initial look, inspecting again at 1700 at which they agreed to re-start at 1730 with 16 overs lost. Middlesex were 281-4 with a lead of 98 runs when play resumed with a minimum of 15.2 overs remaining. With a relatively new ball, James Harris returned to the attack in tandem with Jamie McIlroy who was clipped to mid-wicket and on-driven for a pair of firmly-struck fours by Ryan Higgins, who then completed a 70-ball fifty by flicking the left-armer to fine-leg.

With the total on 297 Harriss bowled Nathan Fernandes as night-watchman Ethan Bamber made his way to the middle. But it proved to be a brief stay as next over, McIlroy in his follow-through deflected a firm drive by Higgins back onto the stumps with Bamber stranded out of his ground. Tom Helm replaced him and stayed with Higgins for the closing overs.

Afternoon Update

Mark Stoneman had gone to lunch unbeaten on 99, with his side on 170-1, and the opener duly completed his hundred from the second ball of the session -and his 185th delivery - as he flicked Jamie McIlroy for a single to fine-leg. But to the last ball of the over, Max Holden was caught down the leg-side by Chris Cooke as he attempted a leg-glance. 171-2 saw the arrival of Leus du Plooy and after a series of singles he saw Stoneman take Middlesex into the lead as he cover-drove McIlroy for four.

Du Plooy greeted the return of Harris by square-driving him through point before bringing up the 200 with the wristy drive against the spin of Kiran Carlson. But three runs later he chopped a short ball from Harris onto his stumps as the Welsh county secured their first bowling point. Ryan Higgins was Stoneman’s next partner and he began by square-driving Harris for four as light rain started to fall.

Stoneman thick-edged Carlson to third man for four before Higgins swept him for another boundary later in the over. The latter then pulled a long-hop from Crane for four before Stoneman clipped Carlson to the ropes at square-leg. But the off-spinner had the last laugh as two balls later the opener drove uppishly to mid-on where Gorvin completed the waist-high catch.

235-4 saw Nathan Fernandes make his way to the middle and he opened his account with a square-drive against Crane. Higgins then swept Carlson for four to secure the first batting point before Fernandes off-drove Crane. Higgins also pulled Crane for four before Glamorgan took the new ball once it became available during the 81st over with Middlesex on 269-4.

Gorvin and McIlroy returned to the attack with the latter being steered through point for four by Fernandes before Higgins cracked him through extra-cover.


Morning Update

Middlesex enjoyed the better of yesterday’s play after opting to bowl first on a dry and well-grassed surface. Their taller bowlers, notably Tom Helm, extracted lateral movement as Glamorgan slumped to 103-7 half an hour after lunch. Some late resistance from Zain ul Hassan and Mason Crane prevented the visitors from quickly wrapping up the innings but, by the close of play, Middlesex’s openers, Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson, had reduced the arrears to 121.

Glamorgan were therefore eager to make a breakthrough this morning, operating in cloudier and more humid conditions than yesterday. In his opening over, James Harris duly found the edge of Stoneman’s bat but the ball flew through the vacant third slip position and away to the ropes for four. Robson’s first boundary was less fortuitous as he punched Andy Gorvin off the back foot through extra-cover.

Stoneman completed his fifty from 76 balls before nurdling Harris to third man, whilst Robson off-drove Harris for four. But later in the over, and with the total on 97, Robson miscued a ball from Harris which seemed to stop on him and was caught by Marnus Labuschagne back-pedalling from short mid-wicket. Max Holden became Stoneman’s new partner, with the latter steering Gorvin for four to third man followed by a rasping pull to mid-wicket.

Jamie McIlroy replaced Harris at the River End with ul Hassan having a spell at the Cathedral Road End. The latter was outside-edged to third man by Holden before having a loud appeal for caught behind turned down against Stoneman who then square-cut the all-rounder for four later in the over. Stoneman also glanced McIlroy to fine-leg for four before the spin of Kiran Carlson was ntroduced with Holden drilling him over long-on for six.

Mason Crane also had a spell at the River End and was swept to mid-wicket by Stoneman.




Day 3

Evening Report

Glamorgan had reduced 126-3 at tea, with the deficit having been pruned to 34, although Middlesex rued not having broken through in the penultimate over with Labuschagne being dropped in the slips after edging Helm. Ingram began by cover-driving Toby Roland-Jones before twice late cutting Ryan Higgins through backward point as well as square-driving him for another high-class boundary.

Ingram then greeted the return of Fernandes by lofting the spinner for six before the arrears were written off with a single to mid-on. Ingram then pulled Roland-Jones to complete his fifty from 87 balls, followed by another lofted on-drive for four against Fernandes. He then brought up the century stand by sweeping the spinner for four.

After some quiet reconnaissance, Labuschagne harpooned Fernandes for four to mid-wicket followed by successive slog-sweeps in the same direction. A deft late-cut against Helm saw the Australian bring up the 200 before outside-edging a four to third man against Bamber and flicking Higgins to fine-leg to reach his hundred from 176 balls.

Ingram then flicked Hollman to fine-leg as the stand reached 150 but with the total on 235, Labuschagne flicked the spinner to mid-wicket where Helm dived to complete a good low catch and ending the stand which had added 156 in 41.1 overs. Chris Cooke joined Ingram who greeted the return of Roland-Jones to the attack by threading a cover drive through the infield and to the ropes in front of the Grandstand.

But with the total on 258, Cooke departed l.b.w. to Roland-Jones as Zain ul Hassan made his way to the middle. Ingram was fortunate to edge Hollmann just out of the reach of the slip fielder before completing his fourth hundred of the season by clipping his 150th delivery – from Roland-Jones – to the ropes at fine-leg.

Middlesex took the new ball in the 80th over with Bamber and Helm returning for a final salvo, and the latter duly ended Ingram’s innings as he skewed a ball to backward point where Hollman held a head-high catch. 283-6 then became 293-7 as James Harris edged Helm to Leus du Plooy at second slip.

Afternoon Update

Glamorgan had reached 33-0 at lunch, still trailing by 127 runs with Eddie Byrom and Marnus Labuschagne looking to make further progress in wiping off the arrears during the afternoon. But Ryan Higgins, who shared the bowling duties with Toby Roland-Jones, had other ideas as in his second over he bowled Byrom with just three runs added to the lunch score.

Sam Northeast made his way to the middle to join Labuschagne who threaded an on-drive against Roland-Jones to the mid-wicket fence, before steering the bowler through backward point. But Higgins struck again in his next over as Northeast chipped a ball into the hands of the fielder at short mid-wicket. Kiran Carlson opened his account by steering Higgins through backward point as well as extra-cover with Labuschagne also nurdling Roland-Jones for four.

Carlson also pulled Roland-Jones for four before Labuschagne bisected the wicket-keeper and first slip with an edge as Bamber returned ton the fray at the River End. The Australian celebrated his good fortune by drilling Bamber through extra-cover but Tom Helm then returned to the attack and bowled Kiran Carlson who inside-edged onto his stumps.

79-3 saw the arrival of Colin Ingram and he began by flicking Helm to the fence at mid-wicket. Labuschagne then straight-drove Bamber for three before Hollman’s wrist-spin was introduced. Labuschagne responded by punching him through extra-cover , followed by a late-cut for four to see him reach 50 from 95 balls. Two overs later he brought up the hundred by nurdling Helm, followed by a firm clip for four to square-leg.

Ingram then pulled Hollmann for four before sweeping him to the ropes at fine-leg and mid-wicket.

Morning Update

Despite Mark Stoneman scoring his 30th first-class century, Glamorgan’s bowlers stuck to their tasks yesterday and restricted Middlesex to lead of 120 runs, besides picking up a couple of bowling points – the second of which came during the final hour when, armed with the new ball, the seamers extracted greater lateral movement.

Ryan Higgins though was still at the crease, together with night-watchman Tom Helm, when play began this morning with Middlesex eyeing up another batting point on 303-6 after 101 overs with Glamorgan hoping that they might also secure a third and final bowling point. Jamie McIlroy and Andy Gorvin resumed the bowling duties, with the latter bowling Helm with his fourth delivery. Jack Davies joined Higgins and opened his account by pulling McIlroy to square-leg before flicking Gorvin to the ropes at mid-wicket.

As it turned out neither team claimed another bonus point even though McIlroy trapped Davies l.b.w. in the 110th over with Luke Hollman joining Higgins as Harris and ul Hassan returned to the attack. However, Hollman’s stay was a brief one as he chopped Harris onto his stumps. Toby Roland-Jones swatted Harris for four before Higgins reverse-swept Crane for four but the leg-spinner then ended the innings as Roland-Jones departed l.b.w.

Glamorgan faced a deficit of 160 runs when their second innings began three-quarters of an hour before lunch with Byrom and Labuschagne again joining forces. Byrom began by square-cutting and leg-glancing Ethan Bamber for a pair of fours before Labuschagne square-drove Helm. Byrom did the same to Bamber before Roland-Jones began a spell at the River End shortly before the interval and was cover-driven for four by Byrom.




Day 4

Evening Report

Middlesex had stuttered in the half hour before tea, losing three wickets for 12 runs in six overs as Harris bowled a waspish spell at the River End and Crane extracted lavish turn from the worn surface. The upshot was that the visitors needed 92 runs and the home side six wickets when play resumed after tea with Middlesex on 120-4.

Nathan Fernandes inside-edged a drive against Mason Crane with the ball speeding to fine-leg before Mark Stoneman cover-drove the leg-spinner. He did the same to McIlroy to complete his fifty from 86 balls but, with the total on 144 Crane struck again as Fernandes edged onto his pad with the ball ballooning up to Ingram at slip. Jack Davies joined Stoneman as Harris returned to the fray at the River End.

After some prods and pushes as the ball spat out of the rough against Crane, Stoneman square-drove Harris for four, whilst Davies continued to be very circumspect against the wrist-spinner. Gorvin then returned to the attack and with his first ball, and the keeper standing up, he found the edge of Stoneman’s bat as Cooke completed the regulation catch.

158-6 saw Toby Roland-Jones join Davies and he survived a loud appeal for l.b.w. first ball. After a series of plays and misses against the leg-spinner, he was trapped l.b.w. by a Crane googly as Middlesex slipped further to 159-7. Luke Hollman was the new batter but he departed to Crane’s next ball as Cooke held onto another deflection down the leg-side. Tom Helm survived the hat-trick ball before gathering a trio of singles before Harris returned to the attack at the River End at the start of the final hour with the visitors needing 38 to win.

The tall Helm used his reach in a bid to the nullify the spin of Crane as well as swatting Harris for four to mid-wicket. Davies also pulled a Crane long-hop for four before garnering a series of singles as the equation dropped to 20 from the last ten overs. Helm thick-edged Crane for four to third man before Gorvin returned to the fray, with the ninth wicket pair collecting a series of frenetic singles before Helm flicked Crane for four to fine-leg. With four runs needed the pressure mounted after a maiden from Gorvin and then a series of dot balls from Crane, Helm straight-drove the spinner for four to seal victory.



Afternoon Report

Middlesex’s target was 213 from 69 overs when play resumed after lunch with Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson opening the batting against the seam and swing of Jamie McIlroy plus the spin of Kiran Carlson. After a brace of singles, Robson flicked McIlroy to fine-leg followed by a deft nurdle to third man. He also clipped the left-armer to mid-wicket before Andy Gorvin and Mason Crane entered the attack.

Stoneman glanced Crane to the ropes at long-leg before reverse-sweeping his next delivery for another boundary as the 50 came up in the 13th over. Robson then late-cut Gorvin for four before Stoneman guided the same bowler through extra-cover. But with the total on 65 Robson chopped Gorvin onto his stumps as Max Holden made his way to the middle with his side still needing 148 to win.

He began by cover-driving and reverse-sweeping Crane to the ropes, before Stoneman clipped Gorvin to backward square-leg for another boundary. James Harris then replaced Gorvin at the River End and was cover-driven by Holden, who then brought up the hundred by hoisting Crane over long-on for six. But in his next over Crane bowled Holden as he attempted another expansive blow.

Leus du Plooy was the new batter and he survived a loud shout for l.b.w. in Crane’s next over. But he was not so fortunate in Harris’ next over as the umpire upheld another shout to the delight of the home side and their supporters. They had more to cheer as Crane struck again in his next over as Higgins feathered a catch into Cooke's gloves.

Morning Update

Glamorgan’s supporters at Sophia Gardens yesterday enjoyed Marnus Labuschagne and Colin Ingram sharing a high-class stand of 156 in 41.1 overs for the fourth wicket. Their stirring efforts came as Glamorgan batted for a second time after yielding a first innings deficit of 160 runs. At first, Labuschagne resisted his aggressive instincts and compiled a sober fifty from 95 balls, before expanding his range of strokes having been joined by Ingram. From the start, the in-form South African played with positive intent and fluency and, as the pair wiped off the deficit. But both departed soon after completing their hundreds and, during the final hour, Middlesex made further inroads with the new ball as Glamorgan ended the day 134 runs ahead with only three wickets remaining.

Ryan Higgins and Tom Helm began the bowling but thoughts of a quick end to the Glamorgan innings were erased with Mason Crane cover-driving Higgins for four in the opening over before deftly nurdling him to third man in his second. ul Hassan also unfurled some flowing drives as well as a deft flick to the ropes at fine-leg against Helm. Crane repeated the stroke against Higgins before square-driving Helm for four, as well as another deft dab to third man when Toby Roland-Jones entered the attack.

Crane then flicked Roland-Jones to the ropes at fine-leg before ul Hassan pulled Ethan Bamber for six to bring up the 50 stand. After a series of maiden overs, he square-drove Bamber for four but with the total on 354, he chipped a ball from the bowler to mid-wicket where Higgins completed the catch. Andy Gorvin joined Crane and began with a brace of singles as the lead reached the 200-mark courtesy of a no-ball by Bamber.

Crane greeted the return of Helm by cover-driving him for four before edging him wide of slip as the ball sped away to the vacant ropes at third man. But Hollman returned to the attack at the River End and, with the total on 371 removed Gorvin who skewed a drive to backward point. Jamie McIlroy joined Crane but with the total on 372, Crane departed l.b.w. to Hollman