Seamers help Middlesex close in on Durham victory

Middlesex 196 & 280 
Durham 169 & 134-5: Borthwick 68*; Murtagh 2-31, Roland-Jones 2-34
Close, day three: Durham require 174 more runs to win

Middlesex need five wickets on the final day to beat Durham after their pace bowlers backed up Neil Dexter’s earlier century.

Leading by 145 at the start of day three, Dexter added 21 more runs to his overnight stand with Dawid Malan (63) and then put on 73 with John Simpson.

In doing so, he reached his first County Championship ton since May 2014 before being caught behind off Ryan Pringle for 112.

When Scott Borthwick removed Simpson and Ollie Rayner in successive overs, Middlesex were 213-8 and only ahead by 240.

But James Harris (41) and Toby Roland-Jones (23) shared a valuable 60 partnership to help push Durham’s target to 308.


Tim Murtagh and Roland-Jones (pictured) both struck inside the first five overs to leave the home side on 14-2 and the dogged Paul Collingwood was trapped lbw by James Harris for 20.

Murtagh and Roland-Jones prised open the middle order with another wicket apiece but Scott Borthwick remained unbeaten at the close on 68 not out.

Durham will need him to bat on if they are to knock off the 174 they require, with Middlesex needing just five more wickets for a crucial win in their pursuit of leaders Yorkshire.

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