Fleming declares winning intention at Lord's

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The Independent Online

A superb century from Middlesex's Ed Joyce could deny Nottinghamshire a Frizzell County Championship victory at Lord's.

The left-hander scored a magnificent 192 and shared important partnerships with the lower order - with Alan Richardson and Nantie Hayward in particular - as they strove to save the follow-on target of 397 on day three.

Although they fell 52 runs short, Nottinghamshire surprisingly did not enforce the follow-on and they could have reduced their chance of winning on the final day, with showers predicted.

Joyce, who could be eligible to play for England from mid-summer, was on 68 overnight and quickly stamped his authority on the game with some classic shots either side of the wicket.

He was well supported by Chad Keegan, who moved onto 28 before he was caught behind by Chris Read off the bowling of Graeme Swann.

Swann soon picked up his second wicket just five balls later, trapping Paul Hutchison (0) leg-before as he tried to force the ball through the off side.

Meanwhile, Joyce continued to play his shots and moved on to his century with another boundary, his 15th of his innings.

With Richardson at the other end, Middlesex's target looked a possibility. However, Richardson was trapped leg before for 15 after sharing a stand of 76 with Joyce.

Joyce smashed some glorious shots, the highlight being two superb sixes in Ryan Sidebottom's first over with the new ball.

However, the Nottinghamshire left-armer did gain his revenge with the wicket of Joyce - after a last-wicket partnership of 57- to a brilliant diving catch by Stephen Fleming at fly slip.

This left Hayward unbeaten on 12 and Nottinghamshire 201 runs ahead with just over four sessions to play.

Jason Gallian (8) was first to go in the visitors' second innings, giving Richardson his eighth wicket of the match after Joyce had taken a brilliant catch in the gully.

Darren Bicknell and Anurag Singh (14) shared a stand of 50 before Singh gave a simple return catch to Hayward as he looked to play to leg and found a leading edge.

Skipper Fleming (1) completed a miserable match with the bat, bowled through the gate by Hayward. Bicknell was the fourth man to go having scored a brilliant 111 with the score on 192, holing out to Ben Hutton at mid-on.

Hutchison then accounted for David Hussey for 57, giving Ben Scott a catch behind the stumps. Soon after, Fleming declared on 212-5 setting Middlesex a target of 414 for victory from 102 overs.

Bad Light stopped play with Middlesex on eight without loss.

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