CHRIS Rogers’s double-hundred inspired Middlesex to hit their highest fourth-innings total at Lord’s and gain an astonishing seven-wicket win over Yorkshire in LV= County Championship Division One.
The hosts looked down and out when they were set a target of 472 to win by the Tykes on day three but Rogers’s outstanding 290-ball 241 not out led his side to a remarkable victory.
The Australian opener’s knock is the third-highest fourth-innings score recorded by a batsman in the County Championship while Middlesex’s achievement goes down as the third-highest chase.
Rogers was undoubtedly the catalyst for the hosts’ victory but he was ably supported early on by 24-year-old Sam Robson (77) who has surely played himself into England contention with an impressive start to the season.
Middlesex began the final day on 230-1, needing 242 more for victory but Yorkshire remained firm favourites to win the contest.
The visitors made an early breakthrough too when Dawid Malan was able to add only two runs to his overnight score of 33 before being trapped lbw by Ryan Sidebottom (1-80).
Eoin Morgan headed to the crease at 257-2 and was fortunate to escape an early dismissal as he ran a risky single and saw Joe Root narrowly miss with his throw at the stumps.
Rogers continued to stifle the Tykes bowlers albeit with a more patient approach than the previous day and passed his 150 with 66 overs bowled.
The visitors brought on spinners Adil Rashid (0-69) and Kane Williamson (1-69) to break the mould and the latter succeeded as Morgan was removed for 27.
The England hopeful’s ambitious sweep saw the ball fly up perfectly into the hands of Adam Lyth to leave Middlesex 327-3.
Yorkshire opted to take the new ball an over before lunch but the change was to no avail and the home side went into the interval 360-3, needing 112 more to win.
There was no change in the pattern of play after the break however as, much to Yorkshire’s frustration, Rogers continued to look assured at the crease.
Liam Plunkett (0-57) thought he had removed Rogers’ partner Neil Dexter when the right-hander dangled his bat out and Andrew Hodd caught the ball behind but the umpires were unmoved.
To rub salt into the wounds, Rogers then hit the 32nd four of his innings to complete the tenth double-hundred of his career and his highest score for Middlesex.
Yorkshire’s fielders were visibly demoralised as the afternoon wore on and their opponents’ target grew smaller.
Dexter certainly played his part, passing 50 before finishing unbeaten on 72 as Middlesex secured a memorable victory.
Middlesex ended with 19 points to Yorkshire’s three.