Close Day Three: Middlesex v Yorkshire, Vitality CC

Close Day Three: Middlesex v Yorkshire, Vitality CC
Close Day Three: Middlesex v Yorkshire, Vitality CC

Scorecard

Yorkshire were unable to defend a third day target of 158 and were beaten by Middlesex in the low-scoring Vitality County Championship clash at Lord’s.

Winners by six wickets in the first half of the evening session, Middlesex recovered from 1-1 in the first over of their pursuit midway through the morning to inflict a first defeat of 2024 upon Yorkshire following two draws.

Middlesex had also drawn their first two games in Division Two and claimed 19 points to Yorkshire’s three from this fixture which saw no side total 250 in any innings.

South African Leus du Plooy played the decisive innings with the bat, finishing with 42, as Middlesex claimed their fifth successive Championship win on this ground against Yorkshire.

That run included wins here in 2014 and 2015 when Yorkshire won back-to-back Championship titles.

The visitors started the day on 216-7 in their second innings, leading by 129. George Hill, 52 not out, advanced his score to 75 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 244.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. George Hill scored a half-century on his first appearance at Lord’s.

Hill played nicely, hitting 11 fours in 151 balls as he attempted to guide the tail. However, seamer Ethan Bamber struck twice for his side added to a Toby Roland-Jones wicket, giving their side the definite upper hand.

Roland-Jones and Ryan Higgins finished with three wickets apiece.

Yorkshire were hoping to have set a total in the region of 180-200, giving them a realistic chance of victory rather than an outside one on Marathon day in the capital.

The hopes of captain Shan Masood and co were raised when Ben Coad trapped Mark Stoneman lbw three balls into Middlesex’s second innings. But it proved not to be enough.

The visitors certainly had their chances.

Nathan Fernandes could have been run out of the first ball of the innings, while Jonny Tattersall couldn’t hold a leg-side catch with Max Holden on 17 following an attempted pull at Mickey Edwards. He went on to make 35 from number three.

Leus du Plooy

Picture by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. Middlesex’s Leus du Plooy.

Middlesex reached lunch at 40-1, needing 118 more.

Jordan Thompson conceded four overthrows in the early stages of the afternoon but stunned for that mishap when he had Fernandes caught at long-leg by Hill following a top-edged pull, falling for 24 to leave the score at 58-2 in the 29th over .

At that stage, Yorkshire, for whom Academy batter Noah Kelly took the field as 12th man today for his first first-team involvement, needed a couple more wickets quickly.

After du Plooy had pulled Thompson for six, just evading Hill at long-leg, they got another when Holden edged Coad behind, well caught by Tattersall at the second attempt stood up to the stumps – 77-3.

Getting du Plooy was going to be key to Yorkshire’s hopes of victory.

Here is a left-hander who scored 170 against them for Derbyshire at Chesterfield last June – a match Yorkshire went and won. He also posted an unbeaten 196 in Middlesex’s last match against Northamptonshire, a draw at Wantage Road last week. He is among the top three leading run-scorers in Division Two at present with 325.

Lord's

Picture by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. The scene at Lord’s for Middlesex v Yorkshire.

And he was not for shifting, until it was too little, too late.

He pulled Thompson for four to long-leg to take Middlesex to 109-3 in the final 20 minutes of the afternoon, taking the home target below 50.

Du Plooy found an ally in Ryan Higgins, the pair sharing a 59-stand to take their side to the verge of victory.

Middlesex reached tea on 131-3, needing 27 more with du Plooy 41 and Higgins 25.

The former edged Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin to slip in the second over of the evening, leaving the score at 136-4 in the 53rd over. But Higgins saw his side over the line, finishing 33 not out.

Yorkshire’s second innings was completed within nine overs this morning, adding 28 more runs for the loss of Coad, Dan Moriarty and Hill.

Ben Coad

Picture by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. Ben Coad was the first wicket to fall on day three.

The latter started the day with two boundaries off Roland-Jones in the opening over before Coad flashed Ethan Bamber to gully with the day’s seventh ball. Coad fell to his first ball of the day for 38, with Yorkshire now 226-8.

Hill drove Roland-Jones almost arrow straight for four up towards the pavilion as he knocked out some valuable runs before Moriarty was lbw to Bamber (242-9, a lead of 155).

With only Mickey Edwards left for company, Hill started playing a shot a ball and holed out to deep square-leg off Tom Helm in the following over.

Middlesex’s chase then started in harum-scarum fashion.

Fernandes nearly ran himself out first ball having pushed Coad to mid-off, from where Masood narrowly missed the stumps at the non-striker’s end with the batter diving to reach his ground. A direct hit would have got him.

But two balls later, Coad trapped Mark Stoneman lbw, leaving the score at 1-1.

Shan Masood

Picture by Alex Davidson/Getty Images. Disappointment for Yorkshire captain Shan Masood at Lord’s.

Unfortunately, Middlesex were able to recover their position to win and extend that aforementioned excellent recent home record in Championship matches against Yorkshire.

Hill’s 75 represented Yorkshire’s only half-century in the match, and was the highest score of the contest, while Coad and Thompson finished with six wickets apiece.

The county are back in action on Friday when they welcome Derbyshire to Headingley for round four of the summer.

 
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