Home cricket Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Leics Group 2 2021

Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Leics Group 2 2021

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Veteran seamer stars against former team to take contest into final-day chase

Leicestershire 136 (Parkinson 41, Andersson 4-27) and 75 for 1 need another 303 runs to beat Middlesex 295 (Simpson 95*) and 218 (Eskinazi 46, Wright 6-48)

What would Chris Wright make, one wonders, of a conversation overheard the other day in which the participants mused on whether the veteran Leicestershire fast bowler might follow the lead of Tim Murtagh, his one-time team-mate at Middlesex, and still be showing the youngsters how it’s done in his 40th year?

Wright will quietly turn 36 in a little over seven weeks’ time and given that he already has the gait of a man perpetually longing to put his feet up, he may shudder at the thought. Yet he keeps taking wickets, swelling his total for the season so far to 28 with 6 for 48 as he tried gamely to keep Leicestershire in with a chance here.

It probably wasn’t enough, sadly. Even on a pitch that has held together pretty well so far, despite the rising temperature, chasing 378 in the fourth innings looks a daunting task for the side propping up Group Two in the Championship. With Murtagh rested, the Middlesex attack is light on experience, yet they are a talented bunch.

They have made a solid start, despite losing Hassan Azad in only the third over when he fell into a trap by pulling a short ball from Ethan Bamber and was caught at deep backward square.
Marcus Harris and Sam Evans have added 73, cutting the target to 303, but the young leg-spinner Luke Hollman made two deliveries turn markedly in the last over of the day, flagging up what to expect on the final day.

It was largely down to Wright that Leicestershire were able to keep their opponents honest, as modern commentators are wont to say, by bowling them out, rather than allowing them the opportunity to set a target of their own design.

It meant first that they were not able to make the progress they might have liked in the morning session, which was delayed briefly by rain, adding only 68 to their 57 for 1 overnight and losing three wickets in doing so. Wright reeled off nine overs at the Bennett End, conceding only 16 runs and taking the important wicket of Stevie Eskinazi, who looked well set on 46 but was denied a half-century when Wright brought one back to bowl him between bat and pad. He and Nick Gubbins had added 73 for the second wicket.

Ben Mike struggled with his line at the Pavilion End but picked up a wicket when Gubbins bottom edged into his stumps, which meant Middlesex had to regroup with two men at the crease who had yet to score and they suffered another setback when Will Davis got one past Robbie White’s defensive bat to clip the off stump.

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