Middlesex seal dramatic derby success
Middlesex claimed Surrey’s last six wickets for just 36 runs to secure a thrilling three-run win in the LV= County Championship London derby at Lord’s.
Resuming on the final morning on 95 for four and needing a further 41 for their first championship victory at the home of cricket since 1997, Surrey were unable to cope with the seam movement generated by Middlesex bowlers Tim Murtagh, Gareth Berg and Toby Roland-Jones.
Surrey’s attack of the jitters began with the 13th ball of the day when Tom Maynard heaved across the line against Berg to go leg before having added only three to his overnight 12.
Chris Jordan then took a blow on his bottom hand from a lifting delivery from Murtagh. Unsettled by the knock, he played tentatively forward four balls later only to drag Murtagh’s away-swinger onto his own leg stump and go for a duck.
Murtagh struck again in the fifth over of the morning by dismissing Gareth Batty, again without scoring. Having planted his front foot too early, the right- hander was forced to play around his left leg and was palpably leg before when the ball cut back in and thudded into his pad.
Rory Hamilton-Brown took to batting a foot or so outside his crease in an effort to reduce the extent of the seam movement off the pitch.
The right-hander played straight, finding the gaps for singles and his experienced eighth-wicket partner Jon Lewis also showed a good degree of common sense, rotating the strike well before leaning back to cut a Roland-Jones short ball to the boundary.
In trying to make amends, Roland-Jones over-compensated, allowing Lewis to drive to the ropes once more, this time off the front foot through extra-cover. Two deliveries later Roland-Jones won forgiveness from his captain, however, by removing Hamilton-Brown for 63 from 73 balls including six fours.
Playing with unnecessary risk for the first time, Hamilton-Brown opened the bat face aiming to run a leg-cutter towards third man, only to edge to the wicketkeeper and go with his side 15 short of their target.
Tim Linley helped reduce the deficit by five in the course of the next two overs but, with only two to his name, he edged a back-foot defensive stroke from a Roland-Jones leg cutter to Dawid Malan at slip to make it 130 for nine.
Lewis took a single from the first ball of Murtagh’s next over and exposed last man Jade Dernbach to the strike. He drove his third delivery, a half-volley through mid-off, for four and then survived a huge appeal for lbw.
Lewis’ gamble of giving Dernbach the strike then ultimately backfired when the last man miscued an attempted off-drive high to short cover where Sam Robson ran in to claim the catch and send Middlesex into ecstasy.
Murtagh finished with figures of 4-43 and Roland-Jones returned 4-25.