County Championship: Durham boost promotion bid with win over Middlesex

Durham's Brydon Carse
Pace bowler Brydon Carse has now taken 34 Championship wickets for Durham this season
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord's (day three):
Durham 147: Handscomb 54, Finn 4-41, Murtagh 3-32 & 191: A Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49
Middlesex 143: Raine 5-26, Rushworth 3-46 & 151: S Robson 65; Carse 6-26
Durham (19 pts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by 44 runs

Durham boosted their promotion chances and dented Middlesex's hopes of a place in Division Two's top three with a 44-run victory at Lord's.

Pace bowler Brydon Carse took a career-best 6-26 as the home side were bowled out for 151, having been set a target of 196.

Resuming on 21-0, they lost three wickets in the first nine overs of play, including skipper Dawid Malan.

Sam Robson made 65, but Carse cleaned up the tail to seal Durham's victory.

Durham picked up 19 points to move into the third and final promotion place, although results in other games will decide whether they stay there, and put them 27 clear of Middlesex, who only earned three.

They may need to win their last two games against unbeaten leaders Lancashire and Derbyshire to have a chance of returning to Division One in 2020.

Durham were soon among the wickets at start of play with Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi quickly back in the pavilion, followed by Malan, who was lbw to Ben Raine.

Robson put on 51 with Max Holden, and reached his half-century off 87 balls, only to edge Rushworth to the keeper to leave Middlesex on 107-5.

And after Carse had George Scott caught behind for 14 and bowled James Harris second ball, Durham had the match in their hands.

John Simpson made 15 before chopping a ball from the paceman into his stumps and Carse ended the game by comprehensively bowling Tim Murtagh.

Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser:

"We didn't get very close and I'm angry. We let ourselves down. We were 99-3. We'd got ourselves into a very decent position, but have then fallen away in a very dispiriting way.

"Everybody is trying their socks off and everybody cares, but we have got to be better than that because it's not good enough.

"Max Holden stuck around with Sam Robson and they added 50, even though it wasn't coming off the bat in the way he would have wanted.

"It is about getting in that contest and finding a way and with the bat on too many occasions this season we haven't found a way."

Durham coach James Franklin told BBC Newcastle:

"It's been a huge occasion for a number of guys in our team, playing their first game at Lord's. They have really embraced it and have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

"It was a special occasion for a young player like Brydon Carse to walk off having effectively won the game for us. He is growing with every game.

"We have two big games to go now, with Northamptonshire away on Monday first. The majority of the division has exciting cricket left.

"We have eight big days coming but it's what you want. You want to be in contention. It's about who can hold their nerve and take their opportunities."

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