County Championship: Bowlers dominate between Middlesex and Northants

James Harris starred with bat and ball for Middlesex
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day two):
Middlesex 214: Harris 46*; Hutton 5-54 & 159: Bracewell 3-31
Northamptonshire 71: Harris 5-9, Murtagh 4-27 & 9-0
Northamptonshire (3 pts) need 294 more runs to beat Middlesex (4 pts)

Middlesex skittled Northamptonshire for just 71 on an extraordinary second day at Lord’s which saw 26 wickets fall.

The hosts were bowled out for 214 in their first innings after resuming on 136-4 – Brett Hutton starring with 5-54 and James Harris making 46 not out.

Seamer Harris then ripped through Northants with the ball, claiming 5-9, while Tim Murtagh took four wickets.

Middlesex collapsed to 159 all out second time around, setting a target of 303, before Northants closed on 9-0.

It led to the unusual feat of all four innings being played on the same day, with no batsman making a half-century.

Middlesex could have been bowled out for even fewer in their second innings had it not been for Murtagh’s 31 off 20 balls, although they should have more than enough runs to defend.

Middlesex fast bowler James Harris:

“I’ve been at home all this winter and spent a lot of time putting work into my game. You hope for days like this.

“I’ve played enough games to know they don’t come along that often. That’s my sort of wicket really.

“If I can bowl the length I bowl when I’m at my best then that is the sort of wicket I’d like to pack up and take around with me.

“I have been put in to bat seven so I have to score more runs and take more responsibility with that. It was nice to get us past 200 for the extra point. ”

Northants paceman Doug Bracewell:

“It was one of those days when everything seemed to happen pretty quickly. The wicket is offering a bit for the seamers.

“It was swinging early on this morning and throughout the day as well. It is one of those wickets where you have to work pretty hard as a batsman and come up with a sound game-plan.

“There is a lot of time left with under 300 to score, so we will back ourselves to go out and score. It is a wicket where you have to go out and be quite positive.”

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