Bresnan ton boosts Yorkshire hopes of County Championship title against Middlesex at Lord’s
18:33 22 September 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tim Bresnan’s unbeaten century kept Yorkshire on course for a hat-trick of County Championship titles – and all but ended Middlesex’s hopes of snatching their crown.
The former England all-rounder finished 142 not out as Yorkshire piled up a first innings total of 390 at Lord’s and captured two early Middlesex wickets to boost their chances of victory.
Middlesex, who went into the game as Division One leaders, are unlikely to be able to force the win they require on the final day – while a draw would deny Yorkshire and hand the title to Somerset instead.
Middlesex missed chances to peg the champions back when they resumed at 235-6 as Nick Compton put down a top edge from Bresnan and Azeem Rafiq also survived an edge to second slip.
The pair eventually added 114 for the seventh wicket before Rafiq (65) was bowled by Tim Murtagh – and two more wickets either side of lunch ushered in a tense, but fascinating spell of play.
Needing to reach 350 for a vital bonus point, Bresnan and last man Ryan Sidebottom had inched to within a single run of that target when heavy clouds and rain prompted the umpires to take the teams off.
When they eventually returned an hour later, Sidebottom clipped a leg-side boundary to lift the tension and went on to make 23 before Ollie Rayner bowled him with Yorkshire 120 runs ahead.
The White Rose county immediately built on the momentum of their batting performance as Middlesex opener Sam Robson edged Sidebottom to second slip for a duck – completing a pair – in the first over.
And, when Compton (1) misjudged the line and was bowled by Jack Brooks, Middlesex were staring down the barrel at 2-2.
Nick Gubbins (39 not out) and Dawid Malan (37no) dug in with a gritty unbroken stand of 79 to slow down the Yorkshire juggernaut as the home side closed on 81-2, still 39 runs behind.