What. A Win. Liam Livingstone's men trailed Somerset by 169 runs after the first dig, but a monumental partnership of 245 between the skipper and Alex Davies hauled the Red Rose back from the dead. Set 245 to win, it quickly became about digging in for Somerset, as wickets began to tumble. Seven fell in the afternoon session and the job was duly completed just before 5pm. Big.
The only real barrier to Middlesex's first win of the season was the weather. Bad light and rain intervened on a dreary, chilly day at Lord's, but either side of the clouds their attack did enough to skittle Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara and company, with Steven Finn very impressive and the champions finishing just two wickets shy. A big win against a local rival would have been the perfect way to properly kickstart their title defence, but Middlesex can still take a lot of positives from their last four days.
The results might not be what new Yorkshire skipper Gary Ballance would have wanted but his own personal form with the bat most certainly is. The 27-year-old scored 108 in the first innings and an unbeaten 203 in the second to add to his other ton this season, 120, also against Hampshire, who must be sick of the sight of him by now. Thanks to his Yorkshire grit, the Tykes emerge with a draw from what looked like a very sticky situation.
Chris Dent found the perfect time to bat himself into form for the rest of the summer, following up his first innings 59 with a vital 101 second time around, his 12th first-class ton effectively denying Durham the chance to win the game on the final day. The hosts were eventually set 205 in 31 overs, but slipped to 15-3 before seeing out the rest of the evening session. Denty the difference-maker.