Roland-Jones hat-trick leads Middlesex to County title
LONDON – Toby Roland-Jones took a hat-trick to lead Middlesex to the English County Championship title with a dramatic 61-run victory over Yorkshire at Lord’s on Friday.
Yorkshire, chasing 240 for a win that would have secured the trophy for the third year in a row, collapsed to 178 all out, Roland-Jones claiming the final two wickets in successive deliveries to clinch victory with less than five overs to spare. The right-arm seamer also claimed a wicket with the last ball of his previous over.
Somerset, who beat Nottinghamshire on Thursday, would have won the title for the first time if the game at Lord’s had ended in a draw.
That looked the likely outcome when Yorkshire laboured to 153 for five but Roland-Jones completed figures of six for 54 as the visitors lost their last five wickets for 18 runs to give Middlesex the trophy for the first time since 1993.
“The way the day went, it was a bit up and down,” Roland-Jones told Sky Sports. “I think we set them a pretty good chase.
“At different stages they looked like they were going well. For it to finish like that is an unbelievable feeling.”
Roland-Jones, called into the England test squad this year, bowled Andrew Hodd and Ryan Sidebottom with the first two balls of his 13th over to seal victory.
“There’s been so much hard work over the past five years,” the 28-year-old said.
“We’ve been on an upward curve and to finish it off like this and finally manage to get there – I’m sure we’ll enjoy it tonight.” –Reuters