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COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP – James Harris keeps Middlesex in the hunt for victory over Warwickshire in gripping finale at Lord’s

PUBLISHED: 16:23 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 24 July 2018

Middlesex's James Harris. John Walton/PA Wire.

Middlesex's James Harris. John Walton/PA Wire.

PA Archive/PA Images

Who says the County Championship is dull and dreary?

Who says the four-day game is boring? No-one here at a tense Lord’s would agree with that incorrect assumption after another gripping session in the match between Middlesex and Warwickshire.

James Harris’s two wickets kept Middlesex in the hunt for victory over Division Two leaders Warwickshire on the third afternoon of their clash – a fact no-one could have envisaged on the first morning after the home side subsided to 7-76.

Yet here was new head coach Richard Johnson’s side battling as if their lives depended om it as every single person inside the ground was spellbound by the tension created by these two worthy sides.

They’ve been saying the County Championship has been dying for a long time – but matches like this will surely boost the grand old competition.

Harris (2-46) bowled first innings centurion Will Rhodes with one which kept low, before later switching to the Nursery End to trap Sam Hain (37) ending a stand of 44 with Tim Ambrose.

In between times the hosts had two more LBW decisions upheld, Tim Murtagh (3-39) removing danger-man Jonathan Trott and Ollie Rayner snaring Chris Woakes.

Wicketkeeper Ambrose though remains unbeaten on 41 with the visitors 142-6 needing a further 61 to secure a sixth County Championship win of the campaign.

Earlier Jeetan Patel (5-56) helped bowl out Middlesex for 242 despite stubborn resistance from John Simpson (33).

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