Middlesex spoil Collingwood's emotional farewell
Paul Collingwood's final bow did not end in the victory Durham looked capable of producing, but his effect on the county will not be easily forgotten
Middlesex 121 (Salisbury 6-37) and 355 (Eskinazi 96, Gubbins 91, Wood 5-94) beat Durham 310 (Harte 112, Richardson 50, Murtagh 4-56) and 109 (Murtagh 3-29) by 57 runs
Middlesex put forward an inspired bowling performance to ruin Paul Collingwood's final match for Durham, defeating the home side by 57 runs in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Emirates Riverside.
Dawid Malan's men added 100 runs to their total overnight total, despite losing a flurry of early wickets. Martin Andersson notched 34 valuable runs to guide his team into a lead of 167 as Mark Wood claimed a five-wicket haul to skittle out the tail.
Durham lost wickets at regular intervals in their reply as the Middlesex bowlers worked well as a unit to bowl the home side out for 109 to secure the victory, ending their season on a high note. Collingwood's final bow did not end in the victory the home side looked capable of producing on day one, but his effect on the county will not be easily forgotten.
Collingwood said: "It was not quite the fairytale ending I was hoping for. It's 23 years, I do feel a little bit sad. It's the right time. I've put all my efforts into it and everybody only has a certain shelf life. I'm very satisfied and content with what I have achieved in the game. Hopefully the club will keep moving forward.
"Middlesex deserved their win in the end. The partnership between Stevie Eskinazi and Nick Gubbins got them ahead of the game and we weren't quite good enough. It has been a really surreal week. All the good luck messages and thank you messages, it takes your breath away. Not the fairytale ending I was hoping for, but I can still have a smile on my face going into retirement after putting all my effort into it."
The visitors began the day 255 for 2, but were to immediately lose Nick Gubbins, who was only able to add one to his overnight score of 90 before falling lbw to Chris Rushworth. The opener's dismissal spark a collapse of the middle order as Max Holden and Robbie White quickly followed him back to the pavilion, while Collingwood notched his second wicket of the innings when Dawid Malan clipped a delivery straight to Michael Richardson.
Andersson and James Harris offered resistance to take Middlesex's lead beyond the 100-run mark. However, their stand was ended when Harris was struck on the head by a bouncer from Barry McCarthy. Harris was removed from the field as per concussion protocol, and was later taken to hospital after it was confirmed that the bowler had indeed sustained a concussion. Drama ensued on the pitch as there was deliberation on whether Middlesex could name Ollie Rayner as a replacement for Harris, despite arguably not being a like-for-like replacement: a bowler of similar batting pretensions but a spinner not a seamer. Umpires Steve O'Shaugnessy and Michael Gough made the decision to allow Rayner to enter the field as the substitute. After the restart, Wood clean bowled Anderson for a solid knock of 34. The England man found his rhythm, racing in with speed from the Lumley End.
Wood cleaned up the tail to claim his second five-wicket haul of the season. His pace was too much for James Fuller to handle, returning a simple catch to the bowler. The 28-year-old bowled Rayner before Murtagh was caught by Rushworth, wrapping up the Middlesex innings for 355 and a lead of 166.
Alex Lees made quick runs at the start of the innings, but his knock came to an end on 22 when he was adjudged lbw to Murtagh. Gareth Harte and Michael Richardson were unable to provide the resistance needed, both edging behind to Robbie White. Collingwood came to the crease for his final innings. He made 10 before Andersson's short delivery failed to rise off the pitch and bounced under Collingwood's bat to end the 42-year-old's last innings at the crease.
The pressure appeared to be getting to the home side, resulting in the suicidal run out of Ryan Davies. Cameron Steel played a patient knock of 23 from 104 deliveries, but he fell edging Ethan Bamber to Rayner at second slip. Durham's lower order collapsed as Wood and Matt Salisbury fell without troubling the scorers.
Stuart Poynter was undone by the low bounce from a Murtagh delivery to put the visitors on the brink. Fuller claimed the final wicket when Rushworth chipped into the deep and was caught by Gubbins, allowing Middlesex to successfuly spoil Collingwood's final act at Emirates Riverside.