Simon Harmer continued his excellent run for Essex as his 5-77 restricted Middlesex to 246 in the first-ever round of day-night County Championship matches.
Middlesex vs Essex
The former Proteas spinner could have been forgiven for failing to live up to the standards of his previous match in which he captured 14-128, including a career-best 8-36 against Warwickshire. Harmer had other plans, however, as he took the wicket of Dawid Malan, who scored a Man of the Match 78 in his England debut against the Proteas on Sunday, for 60. He got another vital breakthrough when he sent Paul Stirling back to the Pavilion for a 77 that featured no fewer than eight fours and five sixes.
Harmer was also key to the skittling of the tail as he collected two of the last three wickets to go with the dismissal of Ryan Higgins.
The Essex batsmen backed up Harmer’s display by putting the Middlesex bowlers to the sword. Former England captain Alastair Cook (193) and Nick Browne (204*) amassed a mammoth opening stand of 373, before Cook departed seven runs short of a double ton. The Essex batsmen remained in control to post a first innings lead of 296.
Middlesex will start day four on 27-0.
Northamptonshire vs Leicestershire
Elsewhere, Dieter Klein was a thorn in Northants’ side. The opening bowler struck regularly throughout the first innings. He removed four of the top five Northants batsmen, most notably Max Holden for 92. His figures of 6-80 meant the hosts could only manage 260.
In comparison, the Leicestershire reply was dismal as they were bowled out for 157, Colin Ackermann contributing 24. The hosts drove home their first-innings advantage by finishing day three on 239-7 (dec) and with a healthy lead of 394.
Leicestershire will resume their innings on 44-0 on day four, trailing by 350 runs.
Derbyshire vs Glamorgan
Wayne Madsen was the standout performer with the bat for Derbyshire. Madsen’s score of 70 (ten fours) was the most significant contribution to Derbyshire’s first innings total of 288.
The hosts proceeded to dismiss Glamorgan for 237 to seize a first innings lead of 51 runs. In his second dig, Madsen could only muster 13 runs before being removed by Andrew Salter. Despite a Luis Reece half-century, Derbyshire were skittled for 160.
Glamorgan trail by 212 runs going into day four.
Photo: Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto