Super Strauss sees Middlesex end on a high
MIDDLESEX ended their County Championship season on an improbable high as a second successive victory saw them finish in third place in the final Division Two table. Following on from their win at Worcester last week...
MIDDLESEX ended their County Championship season on an improbable high as a second successive victory saw them finish in third place in the final Division Two table.
Following on from their win at Worcester last week, Middlesex came out on top by 93 runs against Northampton-shire on Saturday to leap up the table.
Although they were 21 points adrift of promoted duo Warwickshire and Worcestershire, third place represents a significant recovery for the Lord's side who spent much of the season near the foot of the table.
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The platform for victory at Northampton was laid by Middlesex's England duo Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah, who will both be heading to India this winter after being named in the England squad on Monday.
The pair put on 201 for the second wicket in Middlesex's first innings at Northampton as the visitors compiled a massive 545-7 declared.
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Strauss was eventually out for 172, Shah made 114, while there was also another century for Irishman Eoin Morgan, who made 136 not out.
Once stand-in skipper Shaun Udal (5-36) had motored through the home batting line-up to bowl them out for 256, Middlesex were always in a comfortable position, but Udal decided not to enforce the follow-on.
Instead Strauss (76) and Billy Godleman (55) piled on the agony before another declaration on 171-2 set the hosts an improbable 460 for victory.
Northants made a valiant effort with 367 all out, but fell 93 runs short as Udal (3-96) and Dirk Nannes (4-42) completed a good win for Middlesex.
Regardless of county championship position and relegation in the Pro40 league, the season will of course still be viewed as a success after the dramatic Twenty20 Cup victory in July that sets Middlesex up for a busy and lucrative winter.
The Crusaders will head out to the Stanford Super Series in Antigua at the end October where their fixtures will include a showpiece Twenty20 fixture against England,
And the club are still awaiting final confirmation of the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 which is scheduled to take place in India from December 3-10