Cricket: Middlesex clinch Sunday title

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194-6

Middlesex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195-5

Middlesex win by 5 wkts

A SUPERB fourth-wicket stand of 107 from 125 balls between Mark Ramprakash and John Carr took Middlesex to their first Sunday League title when they beat Yorkshire by five wickets at Uxbridge. It was their 14th victory in the 15 matches they have played so far.

Mike Gatting put Yorkshire in to bat on a good pitch, saw them make a steady start but managed in the end to restrict them to 194 for 6 in their 40 overs. Middlesex replied with 195 for 5 with seven balls to spare.

Desmond Haynes and Mike Roseberry gave Middlesex a satisfactory start just as they have done on almost every Sunday of the season. Then, in the 15th over, Haynes perished to a hook which flew off the top edge to fine leg and three balls later Roseberry drove and was caught on the cover boundary.

Seven runs after that Gatting tried to work Chris Pickles through the leg side and was caught in the covers off the leading edge. At 52 for 3 in the 15th over, Middlesex were in some trouble but Ramprakash and Carr provided the ideal answer.

Ramprakash played some thrilling strokes which were all eye and wrist and included a lovely pick-up for six off Paul Jarvis which sent the ball onto the pavilion roof. Carr also produced some good strokes if in a less flamboyant manner and his innings was typical of many invaluable knocks he has played for his county this season: undemonstrative but highly effective at an important stage.

An attempted pull off Sachin Tendulkar - a poor stroke - cost Ramprakash his wicket when he was stumped by Richard Blakey. It did not matter though, for Paul Weekes played a delightful cameo of an innings hitting 20 excellent runs from only nine balls and with Carr keeping a watchful eye on things from the other end, that virtually settled it.

At the start of the day Yorkshire had lost Martyn Moxson early on but Simon Kellet and Blakey laid a good base to the innings and Tendulkar went on to play some glorious strokes one of which was an on-drive for six off John Emburey. The Yorkshire middle order then faltered and in the end they were 30 runs short. Carr was the best Middlesex bowler with two for 34.