Chris Rogers could scarcely believe it after his sensational 241 not out saw his Middlesex side chase 472 with seven wickets to spare versus Yorkshire at Lord’s.
Even when the hosts started the last day on 230 for one, with Rogers on 122, victory was a long way off against a White Rose side with an experienced attack that had made a strong start to the season.
When Rogers lost Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan in the morning session, Middlesex still had much to do.
However, an unbroken stand of 145 with Neil Dexter secured the win and the county’s highest fourth-innings total at Lord’s.
Rogers, 36, has been involved in plenty of eventful games in a career that has spanned three decades, but admitted this was new territory for him.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, he said: “I’ve had a long career and haven’t seen really this happen. A few of the guys are saying that’s as good as a win they’ve played in.
“I didn’t think we’d get there. No-one chases 470 really. To do it and do it three down, that’s amazing. If you’d told me tomorrow that it’d happen I still wouldn’t believe you; an incredible effort.”
— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) April 30, 2014
If Rogers first thing this morning did not believe Middlesex could win, he certainly did not when Yorkshire racked up 416 in their second innings on the back of Gary Ballance’s fine 130.
Yet England Test hopeful Sam Robson shared in an opening stand of 181 to set up the possibility of victory.
“I didn’t believe for a moment when we started that chase that I thought we could win. To see it pan out the way it did is incredible,” he added.
“(I’m) so happy for the guys as well. We’ve fought hard in this game, we’ve had a couple of bad periods but to come out on top against a good side is very satisfying.”
One of those “bad periods” presumably was Middlesex being restricted to 123, to which Rogers contributed one, in reply to Yorkshire’s first-innings 178.
“I think that’s the nature of this wicket here. It can be pretty tough early on and it just gets flatter and flatter as it goes along, as we saw,” he reflected
“So (that’s) probably why I won the toss and bowled. In the end it was a good choice.”