Middlesex 411: Malan 115, Franklin 112; Meaker 4-92
Close, day three: Surrey lead Middlesex by 96 runs
Middlesex were frustrated by another century from Kumar Sangakkara, whose unbeaten 116 led Surrey’s resistance at Lord’s.
The unveiling of a portrait of himself in the Lord’s pavilion just before this match seemed to inspire the 39-year-old, who made 114 in the first innings.
At the end of a keenly-contested third day, in a game of true ebb and flow, division one leaders Surrey were 96 runs, with four wickets down.
Middlesex had earlier converted their overnight 296-5 to 411, establishing a first-innings lead of 98, with captain James Franklin hitting the 22nd first-class hundred of his career.
In a game for the experienced campaigners, 36-year-old Franklin made 112 before slashing Stuart Meaker to third man 10 minutes before lunch.
His sixth-wicket stand with fellow left-hander Dawid Malan had reached 130 before Malan aimed a pull at Meaker’s first ball of the morning and gloved a legside catch to a tumbling Ben Foakes behind the stumps, falling for 115.
Toby Roland-Jones (30) offered some thumping strokes of his own to add 53 in 10 overs with Franklin before driving Tom Curran straight to mid off before Franklin finally fell, having hit four sixes and 14 fours in a superb effort.
Roland-Jones then struck twice in a superb new ball to leave the visitors wobbling at 16-2, but Sangakkara joined Scott Borthwick in a battling third-wicket partnership worth 123, before the latter was lbw to off spinner Ollie Rayner for a three-hour 49.
Roland-Jones rekindled Middlesex hopes of victory by returning for a third spell in the final hour to bowl Dom Sibley for nine, but Sangakkara remained and, by stumps, the former Sri Lanka captain had faced 199 balls, stroking 14 fours, while passing 20,000 first-class runs.