Roland-Jones helps Middlesex to position of strength
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Middlesex (384 & 189-5) lead Glamorgan (171) by 402 runs with five wickets remaining
Two weeks ago, Middlesex were bottom of County Championship Division Two and Toby Roland-Jones had taken only five wickets at an average of almost three figures, but after beating Gloucestershire last week and are currently well placed to defeat Glamorgan over the next two days, Middlesex will be in touching distance of the leaders.
They closed on 189 for 5, a lead of 402, and are likely to bat until shortly before lunch in the third day and leave Glamorgan a mammoth target in the remaining day and a half.
Roland-Jones has played a large part in his team's resurgence, taking ten wickets in the match last week, four in the first innings here and on a lively Sophia Gardens pitch, will probably add to his tally in Glamorgan's second innings.
The home team, after their disastrous start the previous evening when they resumed on 25 for 4, made a partial recovery as David Lloyd and Billy Root put on 59 for the fifth wicket, but after Lloyd's dismissal for 67 and Root for 32, Glamorgan lost their last five wickets for only 28 runs.
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Roland-Jones started the collapse when he had Root caught at second slip, bowled Chris Cooke with one that kept low and followed up by having Lloyd caught behind and Graham Wagg also held by Dawid Malan in the slip cordon.
Steve Eskinazi was caught at slip in Lukas Carey's second over before Nick Gubbins was well caught by Lloyd on the third attempt also at slip, and when Malan was run out by half the length of the pitch following a poor call by his partner, Middlesex were 49 for 3.
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George Scott made a useful 23 before - for the second time in the game - he shouldered arms and had his off stump removed by Dan Douthwaite. From then Robson and John Simpson settled into their productive partnership although the pitch was not so bowler friendly as it had been earlier in the game.
The fifth wicket pair both passed fifty, with Simpson particularly strong through the on side but in the final over he drove De Lange to extra cover where Root held on to a low catch.