After Nottinghamshire’s Kind Statement, Middlesex Won A Nail-biting Match in the Dark


Middlesex pulled off a stunning chase of 249 runs in just 39 overs, catapulting themselves off the bottom of Division One.

As the day drew to a close at Lord’s, even the darkness seemed to pause, holding its breath for the thrilling final moments.

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With nightfall fast approaching, it was crucial that the match ended when it did, preventing any chance of an anticlimax.

Middlesex had been in control for three days, and now needed just eight runs from three overs for their first win of the season.

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire faced the daunting task of taking four wickets or hoping to run down the clock to secure a draw.

In the end, the home crowd’s cheers of encouragement pushed the Middlesex batsmen to victory.

They had fought hard and deserved the win after their commanding performance over the course of the match.

Despite the encroaching darkness, Middlesex managed to pull off a stunning chase of 249 runs in just 39 overs, securing their first win of the season.

Sam Robson, who had been bumped down to No.8, hit the winning run, but not before Lyndon James missed an underarm that would have resulted in a run-out.

Robson had frozen after hitting a Stuart Broad delivery straight to a fielder, but was jump-started by Ryan Higgins who had charged to the other end with the scores tied.

In the end, Middlesex had banded together to accomplish a 6.38 runs-per-over chase with relative ease, moving up to eighth and off the bottom of Division One.

Pieter Malan, Max Holden, Mark Stoneman, Ryan Higgins, and Robson himself all deserved credit for their contributions to the win.

Notts and skipper Steven Mullaney also deserved praise for making a game of it, even with a commanding 248-run lead coming into the final day.

The persistent rain had meant that play only began at 3:30pm, making the result even more unexpected.

Middlesex had been chasing the match since Thursday and were at risk of losing their first three matches of the season.

However, they refused to draw the match for the sake of preservation, instead opting for an aggressive approach that saw them secure the win.

Even Eskinazi’s white-ball skills were brought in to open the batting with Stoneman, a smart play that didn’t unsettle the batting order too much.

It was an impressive performance from Middlesex, who had controlled the match for three days and deserved the win.

Mark Stoneman’s initiative saw Middlesex race to 34 runs off just 4.2 overs, though he would fall to Dane Paterson soon after.

By the midway point of the 12th over, Middlesex had reached 82 thanks to Pieter Malan and Max Holden.

Malan had settled in for a 54-ball half-century, including a six over wide mid-on, while Holden had already reached his fifty by the time Simpson came in to bat.

The duo kept things ticking over without taking too many risks, but with 73 runs still needed from 13 overs, the return of Stuart Broad from the Nursery End gave Middlesex reason to worry.

Broad’s short-pitch plan with fielders stationed on the longer leg side boundary proved effective, as Holden fell to a pull shot and Simpson was caught out by Brett Hutton.

However, Hollman managed to keep Middlesex in the game with a six off Hutton, followed by a game of cat and mouse with Broad.

Eventually, the 22-year-old was caught by Mullany at midwicket, bringing Sam Robson in at number eight.

After a third check of the light, Broad resumed from the Pavilion End with 19 runs needed from a theoretical four overs.

Ryan Higgins managed to hit a top-edged hook that raced beyond the keeper for four, bringing out the meters once again.

As the tension continued to rise, a further check of the light prior to the start of the 38th over only added to the pressure.

Dane Paterson’s frugal set of six that conceded just three runs had Nottinghamshire thinking about running down the clock, but the umpires stepped in to hurry things along.

Just as it seemed like the match might end in a draw, a break in the clouds allowed some natural light through.

With one run needed for victory, Middlesex’s Sam Robson eventually went on the call, making his ground before colliding with Lyndon James after a botched run-out attempt.

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While the finale may not have been aesthetically pleasing, it was a remarkable end to an incredible 39 overs.

For Middlesex, this win was all about heart and soul, with the team proving just how much of both they have.