Rogers breaks records with monumental innings. (©GettyImages)
Rogers breaks records with monumental innings. (©GettyImages).

Chris Rogers inspires Middlesex to unlikely victory

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Middlesex produced one of the best run chases seen in recent times as they successfully reached 472 runs against high-flying Yorkshire, at Lords, to win by seven wickets.

For the most part of this game, with the exception of day one, a Middlesex victory had looked unlikely as Yorkshire were pressing home an advantage that should have seen them continue their impressive early season form.

However, Australian Chris Rogers had ideas of his own as he almost single-handedly guided Middlesex to victory, and by doing so broke records along the way. His unbeaten knock of 241 was the equal highest score by an Australian for Middlesex, alongside Justin Langer's innings against Kent in 1999.

In the final innings of a match it is a rarity for any side to chase a score over 300, let alone 472. The Lords pitch is notorious for flattening out during matches but that theory takes a lot away from Rogers and how he applied himself during his innings. His innings was virtually chance less as he showed onlookers why, even at the age of 36, he is still an international cricketer.

Rogers was at the crease for nearly six and a half hours, facing 290 balls and hitting 37 fours.

As well as equalling the individual record for an overseas player at Middlesex the team completed their highest run chase at Lord's, the third highest on the ground and the third highest in their history. It was also only the third time that Yorkshire had conceded over 400 to lose a game in their long distinguished history.

Early proceedings in the game saw the ball dominate the bat as Middlesex and Yorkshire's bowlers took advantage of the helpful conditions. Yorkshire were all out for 178 in their first innings, mainly due to the on-form Steven Finn, but then Yorkshire's bowlers responded in kind to dismiss Middlesex for just 123 to gain a first innings lead of 55.

Yorkshire's second innings of 416, thanks mainly to England hopeful Gary Ballance with an innings of 130, looked to have given the visitors a great chance of victory but Rogers, and the Middlesex top order, had other ideas. They were not fazed by such a challenging run-chase.

Rogers was supported well by the rest of the Middlesex batsmen with Sam Robson (77) and an unbeaten 72 from Neil Dexter posting strong scores themselves.

Joe Root will not have enjoyed his first taste of captaining his county after usual captain Andrew Gale stood down to allow the England starlet an opportunity to impress the England hierarchy.

Yorkshire will need not dwell on this result as they continue to focus on their challenge for the County Championship title but Middlesex will take hope from a victory that has catapulted them up to second place in the table where they now become serious challengers themselves.

Both sides continue their four-day season on Sunday in the next round of Championship games.

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Joe Root
Australia cricket
England cricket
Steven Finn

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