Middlesex till we die
Maxwell Leaves Middlesex All At Sea Dead and Buried
By Haringey Racer
April 14 2019

Destroyed us

Haringey Racer Gives a detailed report on how we lost today to Lancashire

Day 4 began with Middlesex 68 for 2, needing 94 runs to avoid an innings defeat. Clearly another batting display like the second innings at Northampton was needed. The weather forecast offered no hope of any help from the elements and very little hope of a pleasant day for the spectators. At the start of play the Compton upper was cold but, with the wind in their faces, the occupants of the pavilion looked even colder.


To nobody’s surprise Anderson and Bailey opened the bowling and it wasn’t until the fourth over that the first runs were scored, Robson steering Bailey, authentically, to third man for 4. Anderson almost completed a third successive maiden but Robson played his final ball, less authentically this time, to fine leg where a fumble allowed a second run. Next over Robson reached his 50 with a clip to square leg.


After 4 excellent overs for 4 runs in which I don’t recall either batsman being able to leave the ball, Anderson was replaced by Onions. His first over included three legside deliveries that went for a total of six runs but after that he too settled into a good rhythm. Harris was momentarily disconcerted by a slower ball from Bailey that started out looking like a beamer before dipping just below the waist and being hurriedly blocked. Next ball he played and missed driving somewhat airily.


Anderson then switched to the Nursery End and almost immediately beat Robson twice in succession with beautiful outswingers. An attempted cut by Harris off Onions took the bottom edge and just missed the stumps and Robson edged just short of, and past, second and third slips.


Bohannon replaced Onions at the Pavilion End and his second ball appeared to be tickled down the legside by Harris only for appeals and/or celebrations to be cut short by the umpire’s call of no-ball. In Bohannon’s next over a wild swipe by Robson luckily made no contact on its way through to the keeper. In the following over a rare loose ball from Anderson, short and wide, was guided to third man by Robson for 4. His pride stung, Anderson’s next ball was a perfect outswinger past the edge.


The pair had resisted for 90 minutes but from the first ball of the following over Harris chased a wide ball from Bohannon that moved away and edged to keeper Guest. 116 for 3 At this point a cynic near me, well very near me if you get my drift, muttered “one brings four with our batting”. Sure enough “he” was proved half right next over when Robson edged Anderson’s outswinger and Guest took another catch. 116 for 4.


Malan then drove Bohannon for two boundaries in an over, the second helped by not one, but two, fielders diving over the ball as he and Holden saw things through to lunch without further loss at 136 for 4, still 26 behind. It’s worth noting that bar two overs of spin just before the break from Maxwell (of whom more later) the whole session was bowled by the seamers, who took two wickets, yet the side still manged to bowl 31 overs in two hours and keep their over rate at +6.


After lunch there was a slight delay as the matting covering (presumably) next Sunday’s pitch needed to be nailed down. Bohannon and Maxwell continued the attack. The score steadily moved to 146 before Holden drove at Maxwell and edged to Jennings at slip. Once again one brought two as Morgan played an immaculate forward defensive down the wrong line and was lbw. It looked pretty plumb to me. 146 for 6 and still 16 behind. That was the end of the over and in Maxwell’s next over Malan survived the hat trick ball. Onions then replaced Bohannon at the Pavilion End and immediately drew a play-and-miss from Simpson.


An off drive for 4 followed by a clip for 2 by Malan cleared the deficit and put Middlesex ahead by one run but shortly afterwards Simpson survived a loud lbw appeal sweeping against Maxwell and Malan left a ball from Onions that moved in up the slope and can’t have missed off stump by much.


Jimmy Anderson often has problems with his follow through getting very close to the line of the stumps. I don’t think he received any official warnings in this game but he had created a patch of rough at the Pavilion End, just outside the lefthanders’ off stump, and Maxwell was getting the odd ball to bounce sharply out of this area. Malan reached his 50 with a cut for 4 off Maxwell but the next ball jumped out of the same patch of rough, caught the shoulder of the bat or glove and Guest took yet another catch. 187 for 7.


Roland-Jones then missed his first ball, Maxwell’s straight ball from round the wicket passing his outside edge. Anderson came on for the 79thover of the innings and Simpson immediately played and missed twice. In his next over, still with the old ball, he uprooted Roland-Jones’s off stump. 192 for 8.


Next over Finn edged Maxwell for 3 to bring up the 200 but Simpson was then bowled aiming an extravagant pull against a ball that kept low and removed his middle stump. 200 for 9 became 200 all out as Murtagh played and missed at his first two balls, the second hitting his pads for an lbw and Maxwell’s fifth wicket of the innings, right on the scheduled tea interval.


Lancashire needed 39 to win. Murtagh bowled a bouncer of his short run, which Jennings obligingly hooked to sub fielder Luke Hollman. He then gave us a display of silly run-ups before being replaced by Malan, presumably to make sure the over rate didn’t drop below +1.

The white flag was finally raised with the introduction of Robson at the Pavilion End with 12runs needed. Guest tried to cut a ball that was far too close for the shot and edged into his stumps. Things were starting to get silly and they got sillier in Robson’s second over as, with five needed, Maxwell decided to finish it in one shot. His first attempt was edged at high speed into some part of Simpson’s anatomy (I suspect the gloves, but purely in self-preservation on Simmo’s part), the second was caught by Harris at mid-off two-thirds of the way back. That, though, was thew end of the fun and the win was secured by Jones and Hameed in the next over, finishing at around 4.55 with the over rate at +2.