|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
August 13, 2011
Middlesex 317 and 58 for 4 v Northamptonshire 399
Steven Crook returned only the second five-wicket haul of his first-class career against Northamptonshire - the county that let him go two years ago - but could not prevent the Division Two leaders taking control against second-placed Middlesex at Lord's.
A responsible half-century from Niall O'Brien helped the visitors gain a first innings lead of 82 before Chaminda Vaas, who had taken five wickets against his former county in the first innings, trapped Middlesex openers Scott Newman and Sam Robson leg before wicket.
Then Andrew Hall claimed Dawid Malan lbw and had Neil Dexter brilliantly caught by Rob White at second slip in the space of three balls and Middlesex closed on 58 for 4, 24 runs behind.
Crook, a 28-year-old fast-medium bowler who was born in Australia but has a British passport through his English parents, did not play at all last season but was given the chance to resurrect his career by Middlesex after a trial during the winter.
He had already taken two wickets when Northamptonshire resumed at 188 for 2, 129 runs behind, and swung the ball at a good pace to pick up three more wickets and finish with five for 94 from 19 overs. Mal Loye added only seven to his overnight 80 before he was caught behind pushing forward to Tim Murtagh and after that the Northamptonshire batting was a curious mixture of obdurate defence from Alex Wakely and flashing strokeplay from Rob Newton, Hall and James Middlebrook.
They all threw the bat and all perished to Crook, Newton miscuing a hook to midwicket, Hall edging to first slip and Middlebrook driving to cover where he was superbly caught by Dexter diving to his left. In between times, Wakely, who was strokeless for long periods as he spent two hours 10 minutes adding 20 to his overnight 12, was finally undone by a good ball from Corey Collymore which took out his off stump.
Northamptonshire were still four runs behind at 313 for 7 but O'Brien, the Ireland wicketkeeper, curbed his attacking instincts and went on to make 50 off 88 balls - including six fours - before Jamie Dalrymple had him caught at mid-off.
Vaas, who had joined O'Brien in an eighth wicket stand of 38, and Lee Daggett then added another 39 and by the time Middlesex went in again a sunny afternoon had turned cloudy and created ideal conditions for the swing of Vaas.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history
Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player
In their pomp, West Indies had a 53-13 win-loss record; in their last 99, it is 16-53. That, in a nutshell, shows how steep the decline has been
Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being
The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric
Teams need to start strategising now for next year's event by picking the right men for various roles. England need to get on it sooner than most
The planned reorganisation of their domestic structure should help the region recapture some of the glory it enjoyed in the past
Hundred in a session? Easy peasy for Doug Walters