County Championship: James Harris bowls Middlesex to victory

James Harris
James Harris has taken five wickets or more in an innings three times this season
LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates ICG
Middlesex 196 & 280: Dexter 112, Malan 63; Rushworth 5-49
Durham 169 & 236: Borthwick 95; Harris 5-71
Middlesex won by 71 runs
Durham 3 pts, Middlesex 19 pts
Match scorecardexternal-link

Paceman James Harris took 5-71 as Middlesex closed the gap on leaders Yorkshire with a 71-run win over Durham at Chester-le-Street.

The home side were bowled out for 236 on the final morning despite a fighting 95 by Scott Borthwick.

It took Middlesex 25 overs to pick up the five wickets they needed after Durham resumed on 134-5.

Borthwick was caught behind off Neil Dexter after passing 1,000 runs for the season, and Harris cleaned up the tail.

Tough place to win
Middlesex's win was only their third in the Championship at Chester-le-Street. In 10 previous visits, they won two, lost three and five were draws.

Having been bowled out cheaply in their first innings, second-placed Middlesex only picked up 19 points from the game, but that was enough to cut Yorkshire's lead to 30 points after the leaders drew against Sussex at Hove.

Durham, who also lost their two previous home games, began the day needing another 174 to reach their target of 308, but the odds appeared to be against them with most of their top-order already gone.

They advanced to 190-5 before Harris yorked Ryan Pringle for 36 to end a stand of 77 with Borthwick and their decline was rapid thereafter.

Borthwick was next to go - and Harris then removed John Hastings and Chris Rushworth, before wrapping things up with the wicket of Durham debutant James Weighell, who was caught at deep backward square after hitting four boundaries in his 24.

Durham coach Jon Lewis told BBC Newcastle:

"We haven't had a great run in the Championship for the last couple of months.

"At times, we're looking a little fatigued, which is understandable, but still not really good enough because there is still plenty of cricket left in the season and we need to perform well in it.

"The six games against the top three have cost us in terms of trying to make a push for the Championship.

"Ryan and Scott batted well and put together a good partnership, but what we really need this morning was a great partnership, and once that had gone, it was asking a bit much of the guys further down the order."