Report and quotes: Lower order defiance unable to prevent defeat at Lord's

Wednesday 26th June 2024
& News
Photography by: David Griffin, report by ECB Writers' Network

An inspired burst from Ethan Bamber tore the heart out of Derbyshire’s rearguard as Middlesex secured a 194-run win on the final day of their Vitality County Championship division two clash at Lord’s.

The Seaxes’ seamer took 3-6 in 10 balls on route to final figures of 3-48 as the visitors slid from 58-1 to 70-5 in pursuit of what would have been a record fourth innings chase for the county.

Brave resistance from Zak Chappell (50) and Alex Thomson (41) prolonged the game deep into the final session, but Henry Brookes’ 3-29 cleaned up the tail and sealed a third win of the season for the hosts which  keeps them in second place behind leaders Sussex.

For Mickey Arthur’s side, the morning’s carnage marked a second collapse in 24 hours, having lost six wickets for 22 runs in their first innings on the third morning.

Toby Roland-Jones, architect of the visitors’ first innings capitulation, bowled a probing opening spell, repeatedly passing the outside edge of Luis Reece and David Lloyd’s bats, but without reward.

The hosts did though get an early breakthrough Ryan Higgins finding the leading edge of Reece’s bat, the ball flying to substitute Martin Andersson in the gully.

New batter Brooke Guest edged his first ball just short of Sam Robson at second slip, but thereafter, for a while at least, progress was made without undue alarm.

A debatable umpiring decision changed the course of the morning. Guest was struck on the pad by a ball sliding down leg-side, but Naeem Ashraf raised his finger, signalling the collapse which followed.

Brookes struck in the next over, jagging one back from outside off to pin Lloyd lbw trapped on the crease before Bamber again took centre-stage, producing a beauty which swung into Wayne Madsen and straightened on pitching, beating the outside edge and crashing into off stump.

Bamber wasn’t finished there, striking again in his next over when wicketkeeper Jack Davies, standing up to the stumps held on to an edge to send Aneurin Donald packing for just two.

Lunch provided brief respite before Roland-Jones trapped Anuj Dal with one which kept low from back of a length eight balls after the resumption.

Matt Lamb resisted for a while in a stand of 42 with Thomson  before the introduction of leg-spinner Luke Hollman accounted for him caught at square leg on the sweep.

Thomson in company with Chappell continued the defiance, the spinner adding to his excellent game with the ball, though he was dropped by Leus Du Plooy, a tough chance away to his left from the bowling of Nathan Fernandes in the last over before tea.

Helped by that reprieve the pair raised a 50-partnership, chewing up 121 balls in the process.

Chappell’s response to fielders crowding the bat was to drive Hollman straight for four, before pulling Roland-Jones for six on his way to 50 from 89 balls.

Perhaps it was his growing confidence, which was his undoing, as no sooner had he reached the landmark he drove a full ball from Hollman into the hands of Fernandes at cover ending a stand of 71.

Thomson’s two-hour vigil was ended by Brookes, who struck twice in as many overs as Middlesex clinched victory just before the start of the last hour.

Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur said: “It’s a record of the last interview and the one before. It’s very simple. We get ourselves into positions where the game presents itself to us and we haven’t been able to take hold of it.

“Day One we had them 189-6 and 230-7. That’s where the game presents itself. If we knock them over there, we start dominating the game. Similarly, Day Three which is a moving day, we start 308-4 and we lose 6-22.

“When you lose a session, you can’t lose it as big as we’ve lost those two. In amongst all that there is some pretty good stuff, but you need to play for three sessions a day and not two and a half.

“It’s about keeping doing the basics well. We spoke about absorbing pressure a little bit better than we did in this game. Once the new ball started going around the ground in innings one, we didn’t absorb the pressure as well as we should.

“Similarly, when the second new ball arrived with us 300 and odd for four, we didn’t recognise and absorb that moment. That moment only lasts for so long. Red-ball cricket is about applying pressure and absorbing pressure and if you can apply more than you absorb you end up the winner.”

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