Ignored for 97 overs, Mike takes 4-15 to embarass his captain and team mates


Ben Mike was unused for 97 0vers and came on to take 4-15
Photo: Benjy Gilbert

Leicestershire 149 and 37-3

Middlesex 370

Middlesex ended Day 2 with a lead of 188 and only seven Leicestershire wickets to take for victory. Standing at 142-2 overnight, they made an impressive 370 and then took three vital wickets before bad light ended the day prematurely.

Mark Stoneman completed his century, on form wicketkeeper batsman John Simpson made 71 and spinner Luke Hollman 45 to give the London side a big lead. It would have been far more but for the late arrival of Leicester seamer Ben Mike who was finally introduced at 330-5 to bowl the 98th over.

He took 4-15 to wrap up the innings which prompted many questions about why he had been prevented bowling for so long,

Azad, Ackermann and Kimber all fell in the last hour to leave Middlesex seven wickets from an easy win when they resume on Saturday morning.


Aussie Peter Handscomb had the unique challenge of being an opener.

A wicket taken with the last ball of Day 1,  meant he opened his innings with the first ball of Day 2. He did not take long finding his form but nicked a decent delivery off Wright behind for 27 into Ackermann’s cold but waiting hands.

Stoneman however moved from his overnight 80* to his century off 156 balls, having scored just two of his first 26. Holden was bowled by Parkinson and his rash shot came as no surprise after surviving a needless reserve sweep.

Stoneman was the next to get himself out to an unwise shot, attempting to sweep Parkinson on 108 and being trapped LBW by a decent inswinger.

Still, he had amassed by far the highest score of all 22 players and had put his side in a dominant position. He spoke to Prost about how he had originally viewed the chances of making a good score on the match wicket, and how he had succeeded where others had not:

Middlesex limped to lunch with wicketkeeper Simpson’s 22* stopping the decline. They had scored 106-3 in the morning session but it was an 88-5 performance.

LUNCH 248-5

The score eased past 250 and a batting point.

Leicestershire took the new ball but the field was less aggressive than one may have anticipated. They seemed to set a field for a bad shot rather than a good ball with a deep square leg rather than a third slip. The 300 came up with little opposition as Simpson and Hollman built the foundations of a century partnership.

Simpson meandered to his half century off 83 balls and Hollman hooked a six to point of all places. The 100 partnership arrived in 193 balls having started when both were on zero. It ended on 330 when Hollman was superbly yorked by Ben Mike in his first over. They had added 112.

Mike was the Leicestershire hero again when he ended Simpson’s innings at second slip where Kimber pouched the ball.

Shaheen Afridi scored an unbeaten 29 and took two late wickets/Photo: Benjy Gilbert

You wondered where he’d been all innings! There was more to come.

TEA 342-7

Roland Jones hooked the first ball after tea down deep square leg’s throat where Parkinson was waiting to give Mike an incredible third wicket in only his third over.

The fourth batting point was secured by Afridi. Mike then took his fourth wicket having Bamber caught behind by Azad.

While he had not transformed the game, his four wickets having been ignored all day by his captain would surely make for some interesting conversations in the team hotel later.

Afridi had reached 29 at a run a ball when he skied Wright to Extra Cover to end the Middlesex innings at 370.

There had been some interesting attempts to intimidate the Pakistani paceman with some short pitched stuff.

Mike ended with astonishing figures of 4-15 from seven overs.

Leicestershire came into bat just after 5pm trailing by 221 with Azad and Evans opening in gloomy light.

In his third over, a fired up Afridi trapped Azad LBW for just 2. Four balls later Ackermann edged him to Hollman for a pair. He had taken more catches than he scored runs.

The Pakistani could only look on with admiration however when Ethan Bamber produced the delivery of the day clean bowling Louis Kimber from the Nursery End. The guests stood at 17-3 then still trailing by 204.

At 37-3, they players went off for bad light with Evans on 23.

On this form, Middlesex should wrap this up well before Day 4.

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