County Championship: Middlesex chase modest target to beat Yorkshire

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Vitality County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day three)
Yorkshire 159 & 244: Hill 75, Coad 38; Higgins 3-41, Roland-Jones 3-78
Middlesex 246 & 158-4: du Plooy 42, Holden 35, Higgins 33*; Coad 2-20
Middlesex (19 pts) beat Yorkshire (3pts) by six wickets

Leus Du Plooy and Ryan Higgins steered Middlesex to a six-wicket victory over County Championship Division Two favourites Yorkshire on an absorbing day three at Lord’s.

Du Plooy and Zimbabwe-born Higgins, shared a match-winning stand of 59 just as the Seaxes were wobbling at 77-3 in pursuit of 158 to win in a low-scoring encounter.

Du Plooy fell eight short of 50 with victory in sight, but Higgins remained 33 not out when Stephen Eskinazi made the winning runs.

Ben Coad’s 2-20 led a spirited attempt by the visitors to defend the target, but in the end they did not have enough on the board.

The chase came after Yorkshire, who resumed on 216-7, were dismissed in the first 40 minutes of the day for 244, George Hill last man out after extending his overnight 52 to 75 with several well struck boundaries, Middlesex skipper Toby Roland-Jones finishing with 3-78.

The win marks a significant moment for the home side. Relegated from the top tier last year after gleaning only five batting bonus points – three of those in the final game of the season – they had surpassed that total in the first two games of this against a Kookaburra ball rendered impotent by placid surfaces.

This, however, was in many ways the acid test, a fourth-innings run chase in a game where batting had proved difficult.

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