Middlesex v Durham: Visitors set hosts a tough victory target
|LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's|
|Close, day three: Durham 377 & 294, Middlesex 276 & 44-1|
|Durham 7 pts, Middlesex 5 pts|
Durham put themselves in a fantastic position after a solid day's play, setting Middlesex 396 to win at Lords.
Valuable runs from Gordon Muchall (74 not out), captain Paul Collingwood (58) and Michael Richardson (40) gave the visitors a commanding lead.
Tim Murtagh (5-86) was threatening throughout and had Durham at 139-6, before Collingwood and Muchall joined forces to take the game away.
Chris Rogers was lbw to John Hastings to leave Middlesex 44-1 at the close.
Rogers' dismissal completed a miserable run of form against Durham - the Australian opener has only managed 14 runs in four innings this season.
Things had looked up for the hosts earlier when Murtagh had Phil Mustard and Mark Stoneman caught behind to leave Durham on 99-4 at lunch.
However, the partnership of 79 between Collingwood and Muchall was key to arresting momentum back for Durham and extending their lead to almost 400.
Collingwood hit two sixes off England fast bowler Steven Finn, before he was caught behind off an inside edge to give Finn his first wicket.
BBC Radio London's Kevin Hand:
"Durham are clear favourites going into the final day and will hope for early wickets that we have seen in every morning session so far.
"The pitch is true though and Middlesex chased 472 against Yorkshire earlier in the season, so they will know that if they can reach lunch for the loss of only three wickets they will have a chance."