Cricket: Middlesex ‘capable’ of avoiding loss says Law

Stuart Law (pic Middlesex CC)

Stuart Law (pic Middlesex CC) - Credit: Archant

Middlesex head coach Stuart Law knows his side face a fight to save their County Championship Division Two match against Sussex at Lord’s.

But the former Australian batsman says his players are capable of batting for two days to avoid defeat, after closing day two some 334 runs in arrears.

Dismissed for 138 on Sunday, the home side saw Sussex pile up 481-9 declared thanks to centuries from Stiaan van Zyl (173) and captain Ben Brown (107).

James Harris (4-98) and Tim Murtagh (3-69) led the home attack and Law said: "It was a painful day's cricket, particularly for the bowlers who had to toil all day.

"When you look at it, we've only got ourselves to blame for getting into that position initially on day one. Sussex really capitalised on that and given the opportunity they ground us into the dirt.

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"I thought our boys hung in pretty well today in good batting conditions. Jimmy Harris was outstanding, kept coming in and Tim Murtagh once again led the attack.

"We are going to have to bat out most of the rest of the match which is a long slog, but these guys are capable."

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Van Zyl and Brown put on 177 for the fifth wicket as the visitors built a sizeable first-innings lead, with Toby Roland-Jones (1-116) and Ethan Bamber (1-96) claiming the other scalps for Middlesex.

And Law hopes his batsmen learn from their time in the field, adding: "Sussex showed if you apply yourself and get through that new ball, once it loses its hardness which takes about 25 overs, it doesn't do a great deal.

"If we can scale the heights, emulate what they did and be 120 or 140 in front with a session and a half to go on day four, the wicket might start playing a few tricks.

"You don't know what can happen, but we've got to get ourselves in that position first."

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