Ah well. After winning the toss and batting the first thing that happened was CARDHOUSE ALARM! Newman, Simpson, Shah, Malan out for a combined 27. Yippieh, exactly the start Dexter must have had in mind. He himself and the one whose name I hardly dare speak out because I'm not worthy put Middle back in the contention, Dexter put a patient 47 on the board and Berg topscored with 53. Udal and Roland-Jones folded quickly but! Tadaaaa! Tim "OMFG" Murtagh added a smooth, silky and sexy 50 to the score. Take a bow, the man deserves the Murtagh Stand! Maybe I should mention that a certain Matthew Hoggard was responsible for 6 of the casualties. Curse him! At the end of the innings Middle had racked up 219, not a mammoth total but enough to save their faces.
|Murtle sticks out (c) Getty Images|
Leicester's first innings (282) went a bit better, but only marginally. Young James Taylor made a century and opener Greg Smith got 65, this and a few starts took Leics to 282. Pedro Collins and Toby Roland-Jones, awesome as they are, grabbed 4 each, Udal and Murtagh bowled beautifully. Rain affected a large part of day 2 but did not diminish the building tension that would culminate on the last day.
Middlesex' second innings started bloody well, the entire top order fired for a change and bloody Newman did the North and made bloody 70, which will save his bloody arse. But when the Nos. 1-3 had gone the innings started to turn silly, the middle order was largely useless and the tail got removed within the space of about 3 balls at the beginning of day 4. Leics had to chase 193 within about 2 sessions, the momentum had swung in their favour and only some majestic bowling could save Middlesex from yet another CC defeat.
Murtagh removed Smith first ball and du Toit only a few minutes later, insane eruptions of madness over here, but the total brain remover was Pedro's wicket of dangerman Taylor, who had to depart for a duck. That was when my grey mass folded inward for a moment. Middlesex kept bowling royally, Dexter gambled and brought Owais on, who got Nixon before the latter could become dangerous, but the biggest and most important scalp was probably opener Matthew Boyce (52), who got bowled by a wicked Udal delivery, which made the old man leap across the park like a goat kid, fist punching the air!
Rain interrupted play for a moment but Middlesex were chomping at the bit, eager to finish the job, but so were Leics, in particular Tom New! 80-odd runs to get from 18 overs with 5 wickets in hand, both teams on fire, what a spectacle for the supporters of either side... and suddenly it started to rain, covers came on, covers came off, players on, bad light, players off, players on, covers on because of rain.... a farce. And a draw.
Danke für nichts,