Friday, 5th August 2005
A magnificent day’s cricket at Lord’s in which 389 runs were scored off only 91 overs (the start was delayed by 45 minutes resulting in the loss of 13 overs), saw Warwickshire tilt the balance so that they start the final day needing only a further 161 runs for victory with seven wickets standing.
Resuming the Middlesex innings on 155-1, Hutton and Shah added a further 34 runs against the South African pairing of Ntini and Pretorius, before Hutton was caught behind for his highest championship innings of the season; his innings of 92 was made off 161 balls, with 1 six and 11 fours.
Shah continued in the fine form of the previous evening, becoming the second Middlesex batsmen to reach the 1000 run mark in the County Championship, before losing the other one, Ed Joyce, just before lunch for seven. Shah completed his third championship century of the season in the third over after lunch (off 152 balls, with 1 six & 14 fours).
Jamie Dalrymple and Shah added 52 runs for the fourth wicket before Ntini, returning at the pavilion end, had Dalrymple caught behind for 17. This signalled a collapse, with Middlesex losing their last six wickets for only 49 runs.
Paul Weekes drove Alex Loudon straight to mid off, Ben Scott was bowled by Ntini for one, Peter Trego was caught behind off Ntini also for one, Chris Peploe drove Ntini straight to mid off having made seven, and Melvyn Betts drove Loudon to mid on and was caught for one.
At 305-9, the Middlesex lead was 356 with Owais Shah on 137 not out. Stuart Clark gave valuable support to enable Shah to reach his second score in excess of 150 in this season’s championship before Clark was leg before to Pretorius for six.
Shah’s magnificent innings ended with him left undefeated on 156 (off 216 balls, with 2 sixes & 15 fours) as the Middlesex innings disappointingly closed on 330 all out, leaving Warwickshire 382 runs to get in the last innings, off a minimum of 137 overs. Warwickshire’s Ntini followed up his 4-79 in the first innings with 5-69 in the second innings on his debut for the county.
Middlesex got off to a dream start in the Warwickshire second innings, when Peter Trego had opener Westwood caught by Paul Weekes at mid on, and he then had Trott caught at slip first ball to reduce the visitors to 6-2 after two overs.
At this point Jim Troughton launched a blistering attack on the Middlesex bowling, with former England player, and the Warwickshire captain Nick Knight happy to play second fiddle.
Troughton reached his fifty with a second six, off only 49 balls and went on to reach a magnificent hundred off only 102 balls. Together with captain Nick Knight, this pair took Warwickshire to 193 in the 33rd over before Troughton was caught silly mid-on off Jamie Dalrymple for 119 (off 116 balls, 4 sixes and 12 fours).
Alex Loudon joined Knight, and these two took Warwickshire to 221-3 at the close of play. With a lightening fast outfield and a full day’s play for Warwickshire to make the further 161 runs for victory, Middlesex will need early wickets to stand any chance of beating the reigning county champions. Knight is 67 not out, with Loudon on 19 not out.
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