County Championship: Middlesex on course to beat Durham

Chris Rushworth
Chris Rushworth has taken five wickets or more in an innings seven times this season
LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates ICG (day three, close)
Middlesex 196 & 280: Dexter 112, Malan 63; Rushworth 5-49
Durham 169 & 134-5: Borthwick 68 no; Murtagh 2-31, Roland-Jones 2-34
Durham need another 174 runs for victory
Durham 3 pts, Middlesex 3 pts
Match scorecardexternal-link

Neil Dexter made 112 as Middlesex put themselves on course for victory despite another five-wicket haul by Durham seam bowler Chris Rushworth.

He hit a six and 16 fours as Middlesex totalled 280 all out in their second innings despite Rushworth's 5-49.

It left the home side needing 308 for victory, but the loss of both openers to the new ball was a major setback.

Scott Borthwick hung in for an unbeaten 68, but they were 134-5 at the close, still 174 runs short of their target.

Rushworth getting close to his century
Chris Rushworth remains comfortably the country's leading wicket taker this season, with 77 scalps from 13 Division One matches.

Having begun the game 38 points behind Division One leaders Yorkshire, who have a game in hand, and having failed to earn any first-innings batting points, victory is vital for Middlesex, who meet the defending champions at Lord's on 9 September.

Resuming on 118-4, they soon lost Dawid Malan, who was caught behind off Graham Onions for 63.

John Simpson kept Dexter company to his century as they added 73 for the sixth wicket, but then departed to successive deliveries.

Rushworth quickly mopped up the tail to take his seasonal tally to 77 victims, leg-spinner Borthwick (2-19) providing accurate support.

Toby Roland-Jones and Tim Murtagh were soon among the wickets when Durham batted, and Borthwick will hold the key to their hopes of a successful run chase on the final day.