County Championship: Somerset complete fine comeback victory over Middlesex

George Bartlett
George Bartlett steered Somerset's chase after the dismissal of captain Tom Abell
County Championship Group Two, Lord's (day four):
Middlesex 313 & 143: Eskinazi 53; Davey 3-16, Leach 3-18, C Overton 3-26
Somerset 172 & 285-6: Abell 84, Bartlett 76*, Gregory 62*; Bamber 3-77
Somerset (19 pts) beat Middlesex (6 pts) by four wickets

Somerset chased 285 to beat Middlesex and complete a remarkable comeback victory by four wickets in their County Championship game at Lord's.

Having been 89-9 in their first innings on day two, Somerset fought back with bat and ball to start day four on 112-3, needing another 173 to win.

Middlesex reduced them to 187-6 at lunch, including the wicket of captain Tom Abell, caught behind for 84.

But George Bartlett and Lewis Gregory's stand of 98 took them to 285-6.

Bartlett steered the innings with 76 not out, while Gregory took the attack to Middlesex, hitting 10 boundaries in his unbeaten 62 off 72 deliveries.

The game was still in the balance when the England all-rounder came in at eight after lunch, but he punished anything too straight or short through the leg side as well as playing some glorious shots straight down the ground.

Asides from Bartlett and Gregory's match-winning partnership, Somerset will look at two other key periods which turned things around.

Marchant de Lange and Jack Leach's last-wicket stand of 83 to take them from 89-9 to 172 in the first innings ensured a more manageable deficit of 141.

England spinner Leach then led Somerset's fightback with the ball on day three as Middlesex collapsed from 127-4 to 143 all out in their second innings.

On the final morning, Middlesex paceman Ethan Bamber (3-77) gave them a victory chance, removing Abell and Steven Davies, before Tim Murtagh dismissed Craig Overton with the final ball before lunch.

But Bartlett and Gregory's sixth-wicket partnership, the highest of the match, took the game away from 2016 county champions Middlesex and got Somerset's pursuit of a first County Championship title off to an ideal start.

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