Middlesex see long run end at Lancashire
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Defending champions suffer first loss since September 2015
Defending county champions Middlesex saw their 21-match unbeaten run brought to an end by Lancashire, going down by eight wickets in the north west.
A first Championship five-wicket haul for Stephen Parry and a timely knock from England opener Haseeb Hameed ensured there were no major scares for the hosts as they wrapped up victory at Southport.
It capped a fine performance from Lancashire who shrugged off their recent drubbing by Yorkshire to inflict a first Championship defeat on the visitors since September 2015 in what was effectively a three-day affair after Saturday’s total washout.
Hameed, who has been in awful form for his county this season, scored a characteristically patient unbeaten 38 from 81 balls as Lancashire passed their target of 108 with a flourish thanks to straight six from skipper Steven Croft who finished 34 not out.
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Faced with the modest total, Lancashire lost their first wicket in the final over before the lunch interval when wicket keeper Alex Davies edged Toby Roland-Jones to his fellow glove man John Simpson for 13.
Following the interval Liam Livingstone joined Hameed at the crease with the 23-year-old celebrating his call-up to England’s squad for the three-match NatWest T20 series against South Africa with a characteristically energetic 22 before a three-ball sequence saw him dropped at second slip by James Franklin and hit on the gloves by Roland-Jones before edging one behind.
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The day had started with Middlesex holding a slender 27-run lead with four wickets in hand, but that became three after half an hour’s play when James Harris edged a steepling delivery from Ryan McLaren to Davies for 19.
Just 15 minutes later and Davies had another victim when Dawid Malan’s resistance ended following a battling 52 as he got another good one from McLaren.
That left Middlesex on 180-8 and staring down the barrel, but Tim Murtagh and Roland-Jones had other ideas as they biffed and bludgeoned their way to a 49-run partnership before Murtagh was stumped off the bowling of Parry for 27.
A lead of 100 gave Middlesex a whiff of a chance if they could add another 30-40 runs, but it wasn’t to be as Parry picked up his fifth wicket with Roland-Jones trapped lbw for 31 off 32 balls.
Middlesex return to Lord’s to host Yorkshire in their next match on Monday, June 19.