County Championship: James Harris claims match figures of 9-48 in Middlesex win

James Harris
James Harris took nine wickets and scored a crucial 46 not out in the match for Middlesex
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord's (day three):
Middlesex 214 & 159: Bracewell 3-31
Northamptonshire 71 & 142: Murtagh 4-36, Harris 4-39
Middlesex (20 pts) beat Northants (3 pts) by 160 runs

Middlesex laid down a marker in Division Two with a 160-run win over Northamptonshire at Lord's.

The 2016 county champions were relegated last season, but sealed a convincing victory thanks to their seamers bowling out Northants cheaply for the second time in the match.

Chasing 303 to win, Northants collapsed from 9-0 at the start of day three to 142 all out, with James Harris and Tim Murtagh both taking four wickets.

Harris claimed match figures of 9-48.

The 27-year-old also made the highest score of the game with his unbeaten 46 in Middlesex's first innings.

After 26 wickets fell on Saturday, batting conditions continued to prove tricky as only three Northants batsmen reached double figures and Middlesex wrapped up victory just after lunch.

Middlesex skipper Sam Robson: "It's a great start - obviously with what happened last year, you want to bounce back strongly and kick the season off well and I'm glad we ended up on the right side of it.

"James Harris was awesome with everything he did the whole way through.

"He got stuck in first innings and batted really well, and with the ball, he's a handful in these conditions.

"We've had a good win here, but things are going to get harder, there's no doubt about that. "

Northants captain Alex Wakely: "It was a bowler's paradise and it was always going to be very difficult to score runs.

"I think the pitch was slightly under-prepared, possibly too soft to play first-class cricket on.

"But it was the same for both sides and ultimately Middlesex bowled better than we did.

"There were two balls going past the edge every over and you always thought there was probably one with your name on it. "

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