MIDDLESEX’S Chris Rogers played one of the great innings to sink Yorkshire at Lord’s on Wednesday, according to White Rose fast bowler Liam Plunkett.
Veteran Australia Test opener Rogers hit a breathtaking 241 not out off just 290 balls to guide his Middlesex side to a record chase of 472 for the loss of just three wickets as shocked Yorkshire suffered their first LV= County Championship defeat of the season.
The 36-year-old left-hander anchored a pursuit of a total Middlesex had never previously achieved to win at Lord’s.
It was also the third highest successful run chase in the history of the Championship, with one of the other two also involving Yorkshire when Somerset chased down 476 at Taunton in 2009.
Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser said: "I've seen special innings from Desmond Haynes, Mike Gatting, Mark Ramprakash and Jacques Kallis, but I don't think I've seen anything to better that.”
Snd Plunkett believes a chanceless innings which included 37 boundaries was worthy of such high praise.
“It’s got to be up there,” said the England Lions fast bowler, who went wicket-less in the second innings despite his good early season form.
“He’s a batsman who knows his game. He’s played a lot of cricket, and he’s in the Australian squad where he’s getting runs as an opening batter.
“He’s positive at the start of his innings, and once he gets going he’s quite hard to stop. In the last year, we’ve nicked him off early. But hats off to him, he played well. It was a great knock.”
Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie admitted on Wednesday that his bowlers’ performance at the start of Middlesex’s chase had cost them dear.
The hosts reached close on Tuesday’s third day at 230-1, including a polished 77 from England Test hopeful Sam Robson.
“On Wednesday, the sun was shining, and it was a decent wicket. But on Tuesday afternoon, the game got away from us a little bit. They were aggressive, and there were a few edges that didn’t carry and maybe one dropped catch,” said Plunkett.
“They were 200-plus for one overnight. We were better on Wednesday, and we tried very hard. There were edges and a few lbws that were close and weren’t given, but that’s cricket. You have to crack on.
“Sam Robson is a good player who’s in with a shout of playing in that first Test.
“I played with him for the Lions in the winter, and he looks to bat straight and bat long. He’s very impressive and mentally tough. He has the areas where he scores, and he backs himself to do so.”
Although conditions at Durham should be more helpful for Plunkett and the rest of Yorkshire’s seamers when they head there on Sunday, the quality of the opposition does not get any easier.
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