Search

Middlesex star: We always believed we could win County Championship

08:57 24 September 2016

Middlesex bowler Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom to win the County Championship at Lord's

Middlesex bowler Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom to win the County Championship at Lord's

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Roland-Jones clinched Middlesex’s first title since 1993 by dismissing Azeem Rafiq, Andrew Hodd and Ryan Sidebottom with consecutive deliveries to wrap up a dramatic victory against Yorkshire at Lord’s.

Middlesex’s success was achieved despite drawing all of their first six County Championship fixtures – but the belief in the dressing room never diminished, according to Roland-Jones.

The England Lions seamer cited Middlesex’s first win of the season over Yorkshire – when they beat the defending champions by an innings and four runs at Scarborough in early July – as the key moment.

“I think early on we knew we were playing good cricket,” said Roland-Jones. “With a lot of the draws we were in, it was the weather or the lack of decent pitches holding us up.

“We knew, if we stuck at it, we’d find our feet and gain momentum and that’s the way it’s gone. Once we found that winning feeling, it was tough to grind out results.

“I’d say Scarborough was a big turning point – to be still batting on day four and turn that around away from home, then bowl them out in two and a bit sessions was a pretty special effort.

“It didn’t take that for us to start believing, but at some point you do have to pick up results. There was enough talk about it and we really had to start producing ways to win tough games.

“I think we always knew we had a special group and sensed that we had the capability of doing it but, after all the hard work, to wrap it up in this fashion was unbelievable.”

With both sides needing victory to overtake Somerset and lift the crown, Middlesex captain James Franklin and his Yorkshire counterpart Andrew Gale agreed that the visitors would be set a target of 240 from 40 overs.

Although Tim Bresnan’s knock of 55 from 48 balls gave Yorkshire hope of retaining their crown, they were bowled out for 178 with 4.4 overs left as Roland-Jones finished with figures of 6-54.

“Both teams were prepared to put their chances of coming second on the line, to finish the winner – and good on Yorkshire for agreeing to the deal,” added Roland-Jones.

“I think it was a really fair one and that showed in the way it ebbed and flowed. Tim Bresnan played a hell of a knock but they ran out of steam in the end.

“They weren’t back-to-back champions for no reason – we knew it was going to be tough. But if you had to pick a way to win the championship, this would be right up there. It’ll last long in the memory.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent Sports News

14:54
Hendon manager Gary McCann. Picture: DBeechPhotography

Manager Gary McCann admits Hendon have a huge battle on their hands to retain their Ryman League Premier Division status and believes they need to acquire another 24 points to avoid the drop.

Queens Park Rangers' Ryan Manning celebrates victory after the Sky Bet Championship match at Molineux, Wolverhampton.

QPR and Republic of Ireland youngster Ryan Manning admits he feared he would never get a chance to show his worth at Loftus Road – and he has hailed manager Ian Holloway for giving him the opportunity to shine in the first team.

Friday, January 13, 2017
Jamie Mackie scored QPR's winner at former club Reading. (Pic: PA)

Jamie Mackie scored against his former club as QPR won for the third game running in the Championship and dented Reading’s promotion bid in the process.

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Queens Park Rangers' Jake Bidwell

Left-back Jake Bidwell admits the imminent departure of Tjaronn Chery is a blow for QPR and one which came as a surprise to the players.

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Matt Ball (left) in action on his Hendon debut in Saturday's home win over Merstham. Picture: DBeechPhotography

New signing Matt Ball is relishing the intensity of the relegation battle after helping to end Hendon’s six-match losing streak on his debut.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Eddie Oshodi was on target as Wealdstone lost on home soil to promotion chasing Ebbsfleet United on Saturday. (Pic: ALAN PALMER)

Wealdstone’s defensive frailities were evident for all to see as they crashed to defeat at home to promotion-chasing Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.

QPR Under-18's boss Paul Furlong gives out instructions to his side. (Pic: QPR FC)

QPR Under-18s bowed out of the FA Youth Cup after a resounding 4-1 defeat to Premier League giants Tottenham on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Ebere Eze (second left) was handed his QPR senior debut by Ian Holloway against Blackburn in the FA Cup on Saturday. (Pic: PA)

QPR boss Ian Holloway says youngster Ebere Eze has “unbelievable ability” and believes he can play a prominent role in his first-team squad in the future.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Kilburn sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now