Surrey 80 for 2 trail Middlesex by 18 runs
Toby Roland-Jones struck twice with the new ball after James Franklin’s 22nd first-class hundred, a terrific captain’s innings, had helped to put Middlesex on top in the London derby against Surrey at Lord’s.
By tea, however, Surrey had rallied to 80 for 2 in their second innings – just 18 runs behind – following the early loss of both Mark Stoneman and Rory Burns to a rampant Roland-Jones.
Running in hard from the Pavilion End, Roland-Jones had Stoneman caught at first slip for 0 and Burns leg-before for 10, to one which nipped back up the slope, during an opening spell of 6-2-15-2. But, by the end of the third day’s second session, Kumar Sangakkara (45 not out) and Scott Borthwick (21 not out) had added an unbroken 64 in 22 overs.
Franklin, the 36-year-old former New Zealand all-rounder, hit 112 from 134 balls before slashing Stuart Meaker to third man ten minutes before lunch, as Middlesex reached 411 all out in reply to Surrey’s first innings 313 in the Specsavers County Championship Division One match.
The champions resumed on their overnight 296 for 5 and a potentially game-turning sixth wicket stand between left-handers Franklin and Dawid Malan reached 130 before Malan aimed a pull at Meaker’s first ball of the morning and gloved a legside catch to a tumbling Ben Foakes behind the stumps.
Malan, on 103 at the start of the day, made 115 from 214 balls in five hours of hard graft, punctuated by 16 fours – many of them elegant drives and clips off his pad – and his dismissal brought in Roland-Jones to offer some thumping strokes of his own in a partnership with Franklin that realised 53 more runs in ten overs.
Roland-Jones, who pulled Mark Footitt for six and plundered three fours in five balls from one Meaker over in a punchy 30 from 38 balls, then drove Tom Curran straight to mid off before Franklin finally fell – having hit four sixes and 14 fours in a superb effort – and both Tom Helm and Ollie Rayner were out cheaply in the first two overs after lunch.