LVCC REVIEW: Chris Rogers double ton leads Middlesex ‘almost perfect’ chase

History was made at Lord’s in the fourth round of the LV= County Championship Division One as Middlesex chased down their highest ever fourth innings run chase to beat Yorkshire. Their successful pursuit of 472 was also the third highest in the history of the competition.

Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers

It was a curious match in which the first two innings yielded just 301 runs and the latter two an incredible 888 runs for the loss of only 13 wickets. Resuming the final day on 230 for one, skipper Chris Rogers led them home with his tenth first-class double century.

The Australian added 181 with opening partner Sam Robson (77) on day three, 70 with Eoin Morgan (27) today and an unbeaten 145 with Neil Dexter (72 not out) to finish a marathon innings on 241 not out off 290 balls, having hit 37 fours and batted for over six hours.

Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie was left to bemoan the poor lines and lengths his bowlers bowled yesterday that helped Middlesex make such an impressive start.

“It was disappointing in that we gave Middlesex too many four-balls on a good wicket yesterday afternoon,” Gillespie complained. “We didn’t get our skills right and we paid the price for that. Our efforts were pretty poor yesterday and our bowlers won’t mind me saying that.

“There were far too many half-volleys and far too many short and wide balls. At first-class level you just can’t do that and I’m hoping that our bowlers will take stock and learn from it. Today they were much better.

“Joe Root will be hurting now but that will stand him in good stead if he has captaincy aspirations. We’ve had a bit of a chat in the dressing room and we now have to regroup for the match against Durham. All I ask is that we learn from the things that we do well but also learn from the occasions when we don’t get it right.”

LordsThe match began with Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale selflessly leaving himself out of the final eleven to make room for the returning Joe Root in an in-form batting line-up. They were, however, shot out for 178, with only Liam Plunkett providing some spark with an unbeaten 56 from number eight and new captain Root making a duck in his comeback innings. However, Yorkshire’s potent seam attack responded by skittling the hosts for only 123 as Ryan Sidebottom (4-34) and Steve Patterson (3-47) did the early damage.

As the pitch began to flatten out and overhead conditions brightened, Yorkshire then totalled 416 in their second innings to leave Middlesex needing what they would have reckoned to be a stiff target. Gary Ballance hit 130 to nail his name firmly to the England Test door, while Root and Adam Lyth contributed half-centuries.

Middlesex, though, mainly through their evergreen leader Rogers would end up victorious by the margin of seven wickets. Their Director of Cricket Angus Fraser called Rogers’ knock “the greatest innings I’ve seen” while Rogers described his side’s second innings as “almost a perfect run chase”.

“It’s been a great day and hopefully the club can go from strength-to-strength from that,” Rogers said. “A fourth innings to play like that and get a win - that doesn’t happen every day so that’s what kept driving me. Even from a hundred [runs] out, I think there was danger [that we could’ve lost]. If we had lost a couple of quick ones and then the tail had come in, I think it would’ve been a little bit different.

“It was almost a perfect run chase and that’s something, as a side, we’ve been criticised for our batting so that can be an excellent step for us. I almost thought the game was gone [at tea on day three]. The first innings was very disappointing - I thought we were timid.”

Elsewhere in Division One…

Sussex v Somerset - LV County Championship

Marcus Trescothick

Lancashire won the bottom of the table clash against Northamptonshire, while Somerset thrashed leaders Sussex to reduce their advantage at the top to just three points.

Somerset made 372 after being invited to bat by in-form Sussex skipper Ed Joyce. It was the Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick, though, who outdid his opposite number with a brilliant century from the top of the order. He was ably supported in the Somerset first innings by 76 from overseas player Alviro Petersen and a last-wicket stand worth 75 between Johann Myburgh (37 not out) and Lewis Gregory (47).

Sussex then had a torrid time in reply as Gregory continued his impressive start to the year by taking five for 49 as they were dismissed for only 142. Opener Luke Wells was only man to show the application required and carried his bat for 79. Gregory then made it career-best match figures of nine for 97 by taking four for 48 in the Sussex second innings after they had been asked to follow-on. They were all out for 219 to lose by an innings and 11 runs, with Joyce eighth man out for 93.

Trescothick had rolled back the years and kept wicket for part of day three, taking two catches, due to an illness for Craig Kieswetter. He was relieved by the substitute Alex Barrow at tea, who caught Ashar Zaidi in the Sussex second innings.

Meanwhile, the turning point in Lancashire’s win came in the third innings at Wantage Road. Jos Buttler and Tom Smith shared 124 for the sixth-wicket to take them from 130 for five to 284 and set the home side 240 to win. They were bowled out for 179 after slipping to 77 for five as James Anderson decimated the top-order en route to figures of five for 41. James Middlebrook did hit 87 and added 80 with Ben Duckett (26) for the sixth-wicket, but it wasn’t enough.

Lancashire v Warwickshire - LV County Championship

James Anderson

Anderson had earlier also taken a five-fer in the Northamptonshire first innings, but Matthew Spriegel made 62 to earn his side a useful first innings advantage. The Northants seam-attack of Olly Stone (2-25), Mohammad Azharullah (3-35), Steven Crook (3-26) and Andrew Hall (2-23) had earlier combined to bowl out the visitors for just 119.

Warwickshire had earlier completed a three-day win over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in a match during which the ECB’s pitch inspectors were summonsed before deciding against a points deduction for the vanquished hosts. Ian Bell made another century in the Warwickshire first innings total of 263, which featured a haul of five for 55 from Andy Carter.

The home side’s top-order were then blown away and they could only recover to make 116. A Bears second dig that saw Tim Ambrose top-score with only 29 then left the Outlaws requiring a tricky 300 to win. 64 from Phil Jaques gave them a solid start, but Chris Wright took four for 70 and they were all out for 201 to lose by 98 runs.

LATEST STANDINGS IN DIVISION ONE

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts
Sussex 3 2 1 0 0 0 46
Middlesex 3 2 1 0 0 0 43
Somerset 3 1 0 0 2 0 39
Yorkshire 3 1 1 0 1 0 37
Warwickshire 3 1 1 0 1 0 35
Lancashire 3 1 1 0 1 0 31
Nottinghamshire 3 1 2 0 0 0 28
Durham 2 0 0 0 2 0 22
Northamptonshire 3 0 2 0 1 0 16

DIVISION TWO

Leicestershire continue their encouraging start to the season by having the better of a drawn game for the second time in a fortnight - this time against Glamorgan at Grace Road.

Niall O’Brien hit 133 which, allied with half-centuries from stand-in captain Josh Cobb, Rob Taylor and Jigar Naik, saw them amass 500. Glamorgan’s opening pair of Gareth Rees and Jacques Rudolph then replied with a stand of 137 to make the draw look almost inevitable early on day three. However, Leicestershire’s bowlers kept fighting and earnt their side a 141-run lead. Greg Smith then hit a fluent 97 as the hosts declared to leave Glamorgan needing 321 on what would prove to be a thrilling final day.

They ended on 250 for seven as Stewart Walters and John Glover batted out more than 17 overs to secure the extra five points. Off-spinner Jigar Naik looked to have done enough by dismissing Jim Allenby and Mark Wallace in quick succession after Rudolph and Murray Goodwin had given Glamorgan a good start with half-centuries. However, Glover and Walters survived.

Elsewhere in Division Two…

Worcestershire continued their excellent start to the season and now sit atop Division Two after hammering Derbyshire at New Road. A century from Derbyshire’s ever-impressive skipper Wayne Madsen was only sufficient to get the visitors to 219 as Gareth Andrew, Charlie Morris and mystery man Saeed Ajmal shared the wickets. 110 from Alexei Kervezee, 99 from Moeen Ali and 71 from Andrew then allowed Worcestershire to declare at 432 for nine. It was then over to Ajmal, who took four for 40, to help dismiss Derbyshire for only 149 second time around; Madsen again top-scoring, this time with 56.

Essex wicket-keepers Ben Foakes and James Foster ensured that their side had the better of the draw against Gloucestershire. They pair added 218 for the eighth-wicket before Foster fell for 91. Foakes went onto make a career-best 132 as Essex declared at 305 for eight after bowling the hosts out for 134 thanks to the excellence of David Masters (6-48) and Graham Napier (4-62). However, once the first day had been entirely lost to the Bristol rain, a draw was always going be the most likely result. Gloucestershire did lose both openers cheaply in their second innings to give their fans a fright, but Will Tavare and Alex Gidman hit undefeated centuries as they finished on 251 for two.

The other second division fixture ended in a rain-hit draw at Southampton. Hampshire’s first innings took until the fourth day to complete when they finally declared at 400 for six. James Vince hit his second century of the season to keep his name in the England frame and shared 120 with his captain Jimmy Adams (65) for the third-wicket. Surrey then responded with 99 for two; opener Rory Burns ending unbeaten on 53.

LATEST STANDINGS IN DIVISION TWO

Teams Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts
Worcestershire 3 2 0 0 1 0 56
Hampshire 4 1 0 0 3 0 54
Essex 3 1 0 0 2 0 41
Glamorgan 3 1 0 0 2 0 39
Leicestershire 2 0 0 0 2 0 23
Gloucestershire 3 0 1 0 2 0 22
Surrey 3 0 1 0 2 0 21
Derbyshire 3 0 2 0 1 0 18
Kent 2 0 1 0 1 0 14

Fifth Round Fixtures:

Durham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street (televised by Sky Sports)

Lancashire v Sussex at Old Trafford

Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton

Warwickshire v Middlesex at Edgbaston

Essex v Leicestershire at Chelmsford

Glamorgan v Worcestershire at Cardiff

Kent v Surrey at Canterbury

Daniel Grummitt

Cricket Writer at World Cricket Badger
Daniel first began writing about cricket in 2011, having been a fan of the game ever since his Grandad introduced him to it at the age of 10.

He worked for CricketWorld.com for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.

The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.

Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>