Nannes kills Northants chase
Dirk Nannes ensured Middlesex’s turbulent season ended on a high by pouring water on a Northamptonshire revival to claim a 93-run victory at Wantage Road.
The 32-year-old Australia seamer was deemed surplus to requirements with the ball in the first innings but proved to be the hero picking up 4-42 as Middlesex bowled Northants out for 367.
Former England spinner Shaun Udal also got in on the act, claiming 3-96 to add to his first innings five-wicket haul, as Northants refused to go down with a whimper.
Rob White made sure it was a nervy final day for the visitors in a chase of 461, smashing a quickfire 123 while Riki Wessels followed his lead by chipping in with 95.
However, White and Wessels’ resilience proved to be too little too late as Nannes and Udal combined late on to leave Northants winless since July
Heavy fog surrounded Abington and forced play to be halted for eight overs.
White picked up where he left off last night smashing the Middlesex attack to all parts on the way to an explosive 84-ball century.
However, despite White’s efforts to keep Northants’ hopes of a win alive wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien and David Sales conspired to make it otherwise.
O’Brien was the first go edging Alan Richardson to Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson for 35 before former Surrey paceman Tim Murtagh cleaned up Sales for 13.
White was in imperious form, bringing up another milestone by reaching 1,000 runs for the season with a glorious straight drive.
But any hopes Northants had of chasing down the mammoth total were put to bed immediately after lunch with three wickets falling in a matter of minutes.
Nannes’ introduction was a timely one as he ended White’s charge on 123 before sending Mark Nelson packing for a duck.
Northants were reeling at 233 for five and captain Nicky Boje made matters worse falling to Simpson off Udal for nine.
Steven Crook and Wessels rallied with a seventh wicket stand of 113 but even that was not enough to seal victory.
Wessels smashed 95 off 126 balls with Crook hitting a quickfire 59, but Udal removed the latter after he spooned to Nannes.
Then Nannes claimed the key wicket of Wessels, bowled five runs short of what would have been his only championship century of the season.
Udal grabbed the penultimate wicket and his eighth of the match by dismissing David Lucas for one after tea, and the Northamptonshire resistance ended 23 balls into the final session.
Nannes rounded off proceedings trapping David Wigley leg before for five as Middlesex bagged their fourth County Championship win of the season.