Browse News

News by Competition News by Topics News by County Teams News by International Teams

Join TwelfthMan now!

Middlesex threaten to buck the odds

Watch highlights of day three

A master-class in aggressive batting from Gary Ballance looked to have put Yorkshire in control of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Middlesex before the hosts hit back through Chris Rogers at Lord's.

Resuming on day three with just 10 to his name, Ballance put Middlesex to the sword with a swashbuckling display in an innings of 130 – with 15 fours and six sixes.

Those runs formed the basis of Yorkshire's second-innings total of 416 all out and set the hosts a formidable 472 for victory.

Middlesex openers Rogers and Sam Robson, who hit an unbeaten 122 and 77 respectively, took up the mantle, however, putting on 181 to help their side reach the close on 230 for one and set up an intriguing final day.

Fast scoring in the morning session gave Yorkshire a firm grip on the match as both Ballance and Adil Rashid made haste.

Nightwatchman Steven Patterson did not last long as he fell at the end of the first over of the morning, edging to Dawid Malan in the slip cordon off Neil Dexter having added just two to his overnight total.

Rashid then came to the crease and delighted with a number of punchy shots as he and Ballance both hit early boundaries, with the former plundering six fours inside the opening hour of play.

Rashid continued to play his shots but fell just seven short of an impressive half-century as he was caught behind off Tim Murtagh.

Ballance continued to progress and brought up his fifty in a manner befitting Yorkshire's lively start to the morning, hammering a six over midwicket to move on to 52.

Andy Hodd fell for 22 with the last ball before lunch and Liam Plunkett departed for a second-ball duck on the resumption as Dexter uprooted his middle stump.

Ryan Sidebottom, who had been deadly with the ball yesterday, offered more resistance but could add only five to the total before nicking Ollie Raynor behind.

The shackles came off Ballance once again as he went in search of quick boundaries to put Yorkshire into a winning position.

Two sixes were accompanied by more smart boundaries as Ballance hit Rayner back down the ground to bring up his century in style.

That was not to be the end of Ballance's contribution as yet another couple of sixes took the visitors over 400 runs, bringing up the fifty partnership for Ballance and Jack Brooks.

Ballance eventually fell when he was caught by Steven Finn in the deep after looking to hook Murtagh for another boundary. Having added 83 since lunch, Yorkshire set Middlesex a tough-looking target if they were to take their second win of the campaign.

With both sides having struggled to score in their first innings, Ballance's total looked impressive but it did not take long for Middlesex to show that the pitch at Lord's appeared to becoming easier to bat on.

Rogers and Robson started the chase in solid fashion, both contributing 39 as Middlesex made it to tea on 78 without loss.

Australian Rogers was the first to reach 50, coming off 58 balls, with a well-timed four and he had moved on to 70 by the time England hopeful Robson reached his half-century.

The 36-year-old Rogers brought up his own century as Middlesex continued to last the pace before Brooks finally broke through the resistance as he got Robson to nibble and edge to Ballance at slip.

Opting against installing a nightwatchman of their own, Malan came to the crease, seeing Middlesex through to the close, with the hosts needing 242 runs with nine wickets in hand.

Buy county tickets

Buy tickets to see county cricket, or become a member of your local county - full details and links

Watch county highlights

Watch highlights from NatWest T20 Blast, County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup action on