There were 43 overs remaining in the day’s quota when Glamorgan began their second innings immediately after tea, 214 runs in arrears, with David Lloyd and Andrew Salter facing the bowling of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Toby Roland-Jones. Lloyd square-drove the latter for four before nurdling him to the vacant third man position as well as punching him through extra-cover. But with the total on 25, Roland-Jones bowled Lloyd as Marnus Labuschagne made his way to the middle.
Salter responded by off-driving Helm for four before Labuschagne clipped Roland-Jones to the ropes at square-leg, but with the total on 35, Helm bowled Salter as Sam Northeast joined Labuschagne. Shaheen then switched to the Cathedral Road End and was straight driven for a pair of fours by Labuschagne, with the Australian twice cover-driving Helm for a pair of high-class fours before Northeast straight-drove Afridi for another well-timed boundary. But the Pakistani struck later in the over as he had an l.b.w. appeal upheld against Labuschagne.
57-3 saw Kiran Carlson join Northeast who steered Helm for four through the gully, but with the total on 69 Martin Andersson entered the fray and with his first delivery removed Carlson as the umpire again upheld the appeal for l.b.w. Chris Cooke was the new batter and he responded by pulling Andersson for four, but with the total on 76 he edged Roland-Jones to Robbie White at second slip. Two runs later, Roland-Jones struck again as Callum Taylor edged into Simpson’s gloves.
Michael Neser flayed a trio of boundaries through the offside before deftly clipping Andersson to square-leg for another four but the light deteriorated and the players left the field shortly after 6 o’clock.
Middlesex resumed after lunch on 263-7 having already secured a lead of 141 runs, with Timm van der Gugten and Michael Neser continuing the bowling. John Simpson continued to quietly accumulate whilst Tom Helm edged van der Gugten to the ropes at third man. But with the total on 274 Neser removed Helm as he edged the Australian into Cooke’s gloves as the Glamorgan wicket-keeper claimed his sixth catch of the innings – a personal best and one behind the Club record held by Colin Metson who took 7 catches in an innings against Derbyshire at Chesterfield in 1991.
Shaheen Afridi began with a lusty swipe for four to fine-leg against Neser followed by a top-edged pull, before opening his shoulders again to heave van der Gugten to mid-wicket as Middlesex secured another batting point on reaching 300. Shaheen also swatted Harris for four to fine-leg before Simpson on-drove Hogan for three. Afridi also lofted Hogan for six over deep mid-wicket to take Middlesex’s lead past the 200-mark. Simpson then on-drove Salter for four before reaching his century from 236 balls by on-driving Hogan.
Labuschagne then returned in wrist-spin mode and ended Shaheen’s merry spree as he miscued another expansive drive into the hands of Sam Northeast at extra cover as Glamorgan picked up a third bonus point on 334-9. Two runs later Labuschagne ended the innings as he bowled Tilan Walallawita leaving John Simpson 104 not out.
At noon yesterday, the sound of a military gun salute in Bute Park echoed across Sophia Gardens, with a few wags in the crowd of 650 suggesting that it may have been to celebrate Glamorgan starting this match at the top of the Division Two table or even the arrival in the middle of Chris Cooke for his 100th first-class appearance for the Welsh county, It was however part of the celebrations to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 96th birthday, and coincided with some high-class seam bowling which had seen five wickets tumble during the first hour after Middlesex had opted to bowl first on a green-tinged surface.
After the home side were dismissed for 122, their own seamers found some assistance from the pitch until John Simpson and Toby Roland-Jones shared a vibrant and unbeaten stand of 61 during the final sixteen overs to give Middlesex a 49-run lead at the end of an enthralling day when sixteen wickets had tumbled in the bright and sunny conditions. Temperatures this morning were much lower and there was a heavy cloud cover as Simpson and Toby Roland-Jones resumed their stand against Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten. Simpson cover drove Neser before Roland-Jones straight drove the Dutchman followed by a pull for four to complete his fifty from 62 balls.
Roland-Jones celebrated by straight-driving both van der Gugten and Neser for further boundaries, with Simpson also pulling Neser just out of the reach of Callum Taylor at deep backward square-leg, before another skied pull evaded two of Glamorgan’s fielders at the pair brought up their century stand shortly before Roland-Jones edged a ball from Harris down the leg-side with Cooke diving to his left to complete a tumbling catch – his fifth of the innings. Tom Helm repeated the stroke against Hogan, but with greater success as he collected a boundary before Simpson completed his fifty from 121 balls as Middlesex’s lead went past the 100-mark.
Simpson greeted the introduction of Andrew Salter’s off-breaks by cover-driving and off-driving the spinner before Helm biffed David Lloyd through mid-on for four shortly before Glmaorgan took the new ball in the overs before lunch.