Vitality County Championship – Day Two – Middlesex v Glamorgan

Vitality County Championship – Day Two – Middlesex v Glamorgan


Lord’s provided a batting paradise as the bowlers from both sides were made to toil

Both the Middlesex and Glamorgan bowlers will be ruing the decision to extend the use of the Kookaburra ball as just one wicket fell on day two at Lord’s. On a pitch which was slow in pace and offered no lateral movement, a Dukes bowl might have helped maintain this match as a viable contest. As it is the batters on both sides will be looking to post scores to boost their averages. Sam Northeast certainly achieved that, moving on from his 186 not out overnight to 335 when the Glamorgan innings ended, the highest first class score at Lord’s, beating Graham Gooch’s 333. Colin Ingram had also made a century, finishing on 132 not out, Glamorgan declaring on the mammoth total of 620/3.

No further wickets had fallen in the 43 overs put down by the Middlesex bowlers on day two and Glamorgan took four batting bonus points, having reached 424/3 after 110 overs. The Middlesex bowlers did create a couple of chances off Northeast, dropped in the gully on 239 and then escaping a missed stumping in the 290’s. Otherwise he and Ingram maintained a steady scoring rate as they established a dominant position for their team.

Northeast declared on achieving the personal milestone, leaving Middlesex 20 overs to bat before tea. New overseas signing Mir Hamza opened from the nursery end and he and his fellow Glamorgan seamers found the pitch as unhelpful as their Middlesex counterparts. Apart from a missed run out opportunity, Carlson failing to hit with one stump to aim at, the Middlesex opening pair of Sam Robson and Mark Stoneman moved uneventfully to 47/0 at the break.

It was not until just after 5pm that the first wicket of the day fell, Craig Miles getting a ball to nip back and clean up Robson, out for 43 and Middlesex were 79/1. It had been 88 overs since Carlson’s dismissal. Max Holden joined Stoneman and would have been grateful for the benign conditions after a disappointing 2023, in which he averaged just 19.0. No further wickets fell, although Dan Douthwaite, the sixth bowler used by Glamorgan, made life a little more uncomfortable for the batters with some extra bounce. But the couple of edges he induced failed to carry to the slip catchers. Middlesex ended the day on 138/1, Stoneman on 62, his half century coming off 98 balls and Holden on 24.

Given what we have seen over the first two days, with just four wickets falling, the bookmakers will have stopped taking any money on a draw. This year the use of the Kookaburra ball has been extended from two to four rounds of the County Championship and it is hoped that the pitches prepared for the remaining three sets of matches have a bit more for the bowlers than we are seeing here. Alex Stewart has been reported as saying that some counties may spice up pitches to try and offset the benign characteristics of the machine-stitched ball in order to produce a positive result. Hopefully that will be the case as, much as records are special, it is better to see a contest between bat and ball.


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