Not a Rainey day as Middx steel themselves for tomorrow
which Robson will win
By Dingy Bags
September 11 2019
Dingy Bags reports on the second day of the Durham match with three results still possible.
So, another game, another Middlesex batting collapse. If the light had held last night, our weary bowlers would have been bowling again in the evening. But, still we turn up, with the hopeful thought that we are only 60 behind, the tail could make a hole in that and at least we had saved the follow on before we even batted. Such crumbs we cling to.
It opened with Raine from the McAlpine End, lights on. Durham is a county for whom I have some sympathy, given their ridiculously harsh treatment from the ECB, flexing their muscles ahead of some huge votes. Their seam attack is honest and persistent, typified by Rushworth who opened at the Pavilion End. A few scratchy singles in the first quarter hour and then a lovely flick to leg from Harry. We got to 11.00 wicketless before torrential Raine rattled his stumps: 97-8,and Raine 4-13 at that point. Out of the blue, Cummins hit two lofted, straightish fours off consecutive balls, and then one over cover off Rushworth, taking us into three figures. Stella Rimmington replaced Rushworth and Finn smashed him through mid off for two fours; 29 behind and the weather brightening. Unfortunately, Finn then got a bit excited, had a big heave at Raine and was bowled all over the place, giving him his fifth wicket. Carse came on at the Pavilion End and Murts carved a couple of fours, the first of which hopped into the building site and a new ball was required. We got within four of Durham when Murts was caught from a skier running in from the point boundary.
Only 8 runs came from the first 9 overs of the second dig, both Murts and San Miguel beating the bat on occasion. After the confusion over tea on Day 1, “there will be a 10 minute break between innings", 14 minutes later, “tea is now being taken", no one could be absolutely certain lunch would be at 12.30, with extra overs to be bowled in the day, but 12.30 it was.
Incident at lunchtime: an active Middlesex member was in the shop and observed another member buying a pair of Middlesex socks for a man in his twenties, or at least not a child. So excited was the recipient of this new possession, he rushed outside, sat on the wall and put them on! Could have been worse – do we do Middlesex underpants?
Runs came much more quickly in the overs after lunch until, at 51, Lees and Steel (C) got in a Tiswas in their running; one has seen Middlesex panic and hurl the ball anywhere in these sorts of circumstances in the past, but the fielder took his time and hurled it to Simmo to complete the dismissal. No surprise that this fielder was Murts, using all of his 46 years of experience.
Not long after this, Cummins, in the middle of a good spell, got C Steel caught behind and the game was in a key phase with Handscomb, the only batsman to date to get any sort of score, coming to the crease. He was beaten about half a dozen times, mainly by Cummins, before rain interrupted things at 2.45. We were only off for a couple of minutes and, on resuming, Harry found the edge from Handscomb that Cummins really deserved. At least, that was the unanimous view but the scorecard gives it as lbw, perhaps explaining why Handscomb looked a tad unhappy. Poor chap. Harte was in and lbw to Finn at once. 94-4 at tea.
As after lunch, there was a flurry of runs after the interval and the lead stretched well beyond three figures. Despite no slow bowling, the overrate remains +1. Then Steel S chipped a slower ball from Murts to mid on. Soon Eckers was lbw to Harry, and lingered a long time. Another who was not exactly chuffed. 141-6 and the game in the balance as the sun appeared. George Scott had a bowl and beat the bat of the irritating Robson and Raine on 11 was dropped at second slip with the score on 159. Harry the suffering bowler.
Fortunately, one run later the same fielder caught him off George Scott. Soon Carse was plumb lbw to Harry 161-8. Cummins replaced Scott who’d done a job.
At the point when Finn had Rimmington lbw, it was an odd moment. At 5.50 the light was closing in despite brighter skies, and we did not really want an awkward 20 minutes or so. On the other hand, thanks to the grit of Robson jnr, the lead was 186 and already high enough. Robson now had licence to whack and hit Murts straight for 4. Next ball just failed to carry to Max. Finn was slogged for a boundary before Max just avoided a Lyon juggle on the square leg boundary. 196 to win. In both Durham innings a batsman had found a way to get to 50 +.
We had 9 overs to face, if the light held. First ball of our run chase Gubbo drove straight for 4 to rapturous applause some of it ironic, but he turned the second to square leg for four more. The light actually improved. Raine's first ball went for 4 leg byes but also produced a huge lbw appeal. Sam, in addition to the responsibility of leading the run chase had the pressure of little brother’s runs as well. It did not show, as he too hit Rushworth straight for 4 and then through midwicket. But there was a play and miss as well. At 21-0; 175 still to win, the dusk drove the players to the pavilion- Durham with predictable reluctance.
A tight finish tomorrow? Who knows?
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:09:14:03:13:51 by BarmierKev.
As has often been the case, for the last 2 seasons, lack of first innings runs has been the issue. Stuart Law has now had a whole season to look at these players, so I'm expecting him to either improve, or remove, the under performers. What I find so frustrating is that there is clearly talent in our top 6, but they so rarely seem to perform as a unit. Glad I'm not in charge of next seasons continued efforts to climb out of Div 2.