Toby Roland-Jones has written his name in Middlesex folklore after a heroic performance that sealed the County Championship.
If his six wickets in the second innings is considered inspired then the hat-trick to win the Championship can be considered herculean.
Obliterating the tail, the paceman sparked jubilant scenes at Lord’s which culminated in bodies piling on to the bowler as they celebrated their first Championship title since 1993.
Speaking after his heroics, the 28-year-old did confess he wasn’t thinking about anything other than mopping up the Yorkshire tail:
“I didn’t know it was a hat-trick, to be honest, when it happened. I was just trying to hit the stumps and get those last wickets. It’s a very special moment. It hasn’t sunk in yet.
“I ended up at the bottom of the pile in those celebrations out on the field. It was a great feeling. We will celebrate long into the night, although I’m not sure what exactly is going to happen this evening!”
With six overs left in the game, three teams were still within touching distance of the trophy, a feat not likely to be seen for a very long time.
However, there was some disgruntlement when the Middlesex and Yorkshire camps agreed to make a game of it at HQ with declaration bowling, allowing the home side to set a target of 240 in the remaining 40 overs.
Somerset, the team leading the pile at the top of the day, will be obviously disappointed with the result – with Roland-Jones sympathising with those down at Taunton:
“I feel sorry for Somerset, I really do. It’s tough for them but we both wanted to find a way to win this game, and we both wanted to have a crack.
“We put everything on the line today and we managed to come out on top, but Yorkshire batted well for a lot of their innings and especially when Tim Bresnan and Gary Ballance were together.”
Yorkshire have built up something resembling a red-ball dynasty in recent years and were looking to make it three Championship titles on the spin.
This dominance was ended by Middlesex today, but their managing director of cricket, Angus Fraser, who was part of the 1993 title winning squad has high hopes for this ‘special’ side:
“This group of players will be around for a long time, and we can get better still over the next three or four years. We have been building to this, and we play our cricket on good pitches. The players will get a lot of confidence from the way we have won.”