Cricket: Murtagh delighted with Middlesex finish

Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh - Credit: Archant

Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh admitted it felt good to end the County Championship Division Two season on a winning note against Durham.

Murtagh took 3-29 as the home side were dismissed for 109 and Middlesex clinched a 57-run win at Emirates Riverside, with Martin Andersson (2-15), James Fuller (2-25) and Ethan Bamber (2-38) nabbing braces.

That impressive display with the ball came after Middlesex had made 355 in their second innings, having conceded a 189-run lead to the home side on first innings.

Stevie Eskinazi (96) and Nick Gubbins (91) led the way with the bat for the visitors and Murtagh said: “We spoke about going to the well one more time. That’s what happened.

“We were on the back foot on the first morning, it was tough work for the guys. All along the gameplan was that we knew the wicket was going to get worse, we don’t want to bat last on it.

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“The general consensus is that we wanted to bowl last on it and it worked out well in the end.

“It was great being two down overnight for 255, but then we proceeded to mess it up to bring them right back into the game.

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“There was great fight shown. I’ve been very impressed with the young guys that have come in like Ethan Bamber and Martin Anderssson, who picked up two crucial wickets. They’ve been very good through the last seven matches.”

Durham’s Paul Collingwood was denied the fairytale finish to his long first-class career after being dismissed for 10 in his last innings.

The former England one-day captain added: “It was not quite the ending I was hoping for. It’s 23 years, I do feel a little bit sad.

“It’s the right time. I’ve put all my efforts into it and everybody only has a certain shelf life. To be part of this club for so many years, playing with some great players and people that have helped me throughout the years.

“I just want to say thanks to everybody that has supported me and given me the opportunity to play for this club. I’m very satisfied and content with what I have achieved in the game. Hopefully the club will keep moving forward.

“Middlesex deserved their win in the end. The partnership between Stevie Eskinazi and Nick Gubbins got them ahead of the game and we weren’t quite good enough. It has been a really surreal week.

“All the good luck messages and thank you messages, it takes your breath away the reception you get from the crowd and my family, through social media on Twitter. Not the fairytale ending I was hoping for, but I can still have a smile on my face going into retirement putting all my effort into it.”

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