Nottinghamshire v Middlesex: Visitors in control at Trent Bridge
Last updated on .From the section Counties
|LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Close, day three: Middlesex 505 & 220-5, Nottinghamshire 392|
|Middlesex 8pts, Notts 6pts|
Tim Murtagh's six-wicket haul put Middlesex in a strong position against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Notts were set on 333-5 and Murtagh (6-93) impressed as the hosts lost three wickets for 12 runs, before Luke Fletcher (40) took them to 392 all out.
After a solid start by Chris Rogers (48), Middlesex were made to work for the second-innings runs before closing 333 ahead on 220-5.
Australia bowler Peter Siddle (2-37) took his season's tally to 24 wickets.
Notts resumed day three on 258-4 but Samit Patel (77) was only able to add two to his overnight score, before being caught by Steven Finn off Toby Roland-Jones (2-99).
The home side still seemed to be well set to avoid the follow-on but slipped from 333-5 to 345-8, with Murtagh taking the wickets of Chris Read (32) and Siddle for a first-ball duck in successive deliveries.
Riki Wessels was dismissed for 71 before two sixes from Adam Adams (12) helped Notts avoid the follow-on.
Fletcher hit three fours and two sixes in his 40 from 42 balls - his highest Championship score since making 58 against Somerset in August 2013 - and was last man out to Murtagh, who ended with six wickets for the second time this season.
Rogers got Middlesex off to a positive start, hitting eight fours at better than a run-a-ball, but slipped from 109-2 to 140-5.
Siddle took the wickets of Eoin Morgan (20) and Neil Dexter (29) in successive overs to slow down the visitors.
But John Simpson (44 not out) and Paul Stirling (39 not out) saw Middlesex close with a healthy lead and the pair have so far shared an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 80.
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"A thrilling final day is in prospect at Trent Bridge, with both sides eyeing up victory after three days of cut and thrust.
"On a surface that has favoured the batsmen throughout, Notts may fancy a run chase but much will depend on the timing of Middlesex's declaration.
"Samit Patel and Riki Wessels again played high-quality knocks, without going on to make the really big score that was the hallmark of the visitors' first innings."
BBC London 94.9's Kevin Hand:
"Middlesex remain in the ascendancy but a Nottinghamshire fightback with bat and ball has delayed their progress in the match.
"Having avoided the follow-on, the hosts then stalled the visitors' progress with early wickets and any hopes of an overnight declaration faded.
"There are cracks on the pitch and Middlesex will hope that the variable bounce increases on the final day to make it fives wins from nine games."