Vitality County Championship – Day Three – Middlesex v Glamorgan

Vitality County Championship – Day Three – Middlesex v Glamorgan


The Glamorgan bowlers toiled hard on the batter friendly pitch, but Higgins and his Middlesex colleagues held firm

While the cricket has been dominated by the bat, with a positive result looking very unlikely, both sides will be grateful for three full days play at Lord’s, helping them to shake off the cobwebs and set them up for the coming matches. The pitch has become slower and lower as the game has progressed, with the bowlers continuing to struggle from the Nursery End, running into a gale force wind. With Middlesex ending the day on 460/5, they need just another 11 runs to avoid the follow on and it will be a matter of going through the motions tomorrow, with play like to end early if the forecast rain arrives.

Ryan Higgins, as so often last summer, was the stand out performer for Middlesex, ending the day on 127 not out, while Mark Stoneman will be kicking himself, having fallen three short of his century. All the Glamorgan bowlers worked hard, Dan Douthwaite perhaps looking the most dangerous, able to extract a little extra pace and bounce, while Kiran Carlson led the wicket taking.

The players walked out to sunshine and storm Kathleen as play resumed on day three, with Middlesex resuming on 138/1, needing another 333 runs to avoid the follow on. Stoneman immediately tried to gift Glamorgan a wicket as he took on an injudicious run from the third ball of the day, Carlson missing the stumps from mid on. Otherwise he and Max Holden progressed serenely, putting on 120 runs for the second wicket. Holden brought up his half century off 115 balls, but four balls later Stoneman had an injudicious slap at a wide ball from Carlson and struck it straight into the hands of a grateful Douthwaite at cover. That left Middlesex on 199/2, with Middlesex’s new signing Leus du Plooy coming to the crease. The old adage of one brings two worked for Glamorgan as Holden fell for the leg side trap, guiding a ball from Douthwaite into the hands of Colin Ingram at a wide leg slip, out for 53.

Higgins, Middlesex’s top run scorer of 2023, joined du Plooy and the two looked comfortable, taking the score to 273. The new ball was taken after 82 overs and brought the breakthrough, du Plooy (39) playing back to a full ball from Mir Hamza, out lbw and the Pakistan bowler had his first wicket for Glamorgan. Wicket keeper Jack Davies came in at six, having to fill the very large boots of John Simpson. The left hander was determined to thwart the Glamorgan bowlers and dug in, contributing just 12 runs off 58 balls to a 50 partnership with Higgins. Higgins’ 50 came up off 91 balls and the two batters took Middlesex to tea at 369/4. There had been some excitement coming up to the break as there were a burst of shots with the third batting bonus point in sight, but they fell nine runs short.

After tea normal service resumed, as the fifth wicket pair continued to accumulate, despite the efforts of the Glamorgan bowlers, of which Northeast called upon eight during the day. There was understandably no urgency to the batting and firstly Davies reached his half century off 121 balls, followed by Higgins completing the eighth first class century of his career, off 151 balls. The pair put on 153 for the fifth wicket before Carlson picked up his second wicket, trapping Davies lbw, out for 60, his second first class half century. That was the last wicket of the day, as Higgins and Joshua de Caires batted out the last 16 overs. They will resume tomorrow with every hope of closing in on the Glamorgan total.


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