Cricket: Haynes holds reins

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Durham 198-7

Middlesex 202-3

Middlesex win by seven wickets

WHILE cantering to their record 12th successive victory in the Sunday League this season Middlesex yesterday showed exactly why they have had such remarkable success in the competition.

First, Durham were put in to bat and kept to 198 for 7 in their 40 overs which was never likely to be enough. Desmond Haynes and Mike Roseberry then added 102 in 119 balls for the first wicket and Middlesex reached 202 for 3 in 38.5 overs winning by seven wickets.

It has been remarkable how a player of Haynes's venerable experience has been able to rekindle his enthusiasm for all the types of cricket he has played for Middlesex this year. Now, he was as determined as anyone as he reached his eighth Sunday 50 in 10 innings and took his aggregate for the season with five matches left to 647, which is already a Middlesex record.

He and Roseberry, with his Haynes lookalike stance, played some splendid strokes particularly off the front foot and not the least of their skills was the way in which they continually worked the ball into the gaps for singles. There were 68 scoring strokes in their stand of 102 and 56 of these were singles.

Dean Jones, the Australian Test batsman who was not playing for Durham because of a broken finger, said that in Australia 80 per cent of one-day matches are won by the side which scores the most singles. The single is as effective a way of keeping the scoreboard moving in the northern hemisphere as it is in the southern.

Roseberry was eventually stumped off his pads as he came down the pitch to off-spinner Philip Berry. This let in Mike Gatting who was at his chirpiest and produced some lovely strokes especially against Ian Botham. Although he and Haynes both departed before the end the issue was never in doubt.

While Middlesex's batting was most impressive not to say invincible, the bowling had been tight and demanding earlier in the afternoon. Angus Fraser, without yet finding his old life and rhythm, took another useful step along the road to fitness.