Hero of Surrey success urges Middlesex to keep going

Bowling hero Ollie Rayner says Middlesex must keep striving to finish as high as possible in the County Championship following their derby demolition of Surrey.

Rayner recorded the county’s best bowling figures since 1955 as he produced an incredible performance of 15-118, earning Middlesex a 146-run victory over their London rivals at The Oval.

Although the result lifted Middlesex back into third place in Division One, their chances of winning the title look exceedingly remote as leaders Durham hold a 28.5-point advantage and have a game in hand.

Off-spinner Rayner told london24.com: “It’d be so easy, when the main goal’s gone out of sight, to just sit back and say ‘well, we’ve missed it this year and we’ll try again’.

“I think it’s really important that we keep trying to finish as high as we possibly can. Last year we snuck into third place and that’s worth a bit of prize money, so there are incentives as well as personal pride.

“We’ve shown we can produce the performances of a world-class side. We do sometimes lack a bit of experience and we can lose our heads, but if we can eradicate those spells of play we will win trophies – I believe that 100 per cent.”

Middlesex begin their final home match of the season against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s on Wednesday.