Middlesex clinch thrilling two-wicket win against Glamorgan

Vitality County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day four)

Glamorgan 183 & 372: Labuschagne 111, Ingram 105; Hollman 3-57, Helm 3-71

Middlesex 343 & 213-8: Stoneman 63; Crane 5-99

Middlesex (21 pts) beat Glamorgan (2 pts) by two wickets

Match scorecard

Middlesex edged to a nerve-jangling two-wicket victory against Glamorgan in Cardiff thanks to a ninth-wicket stand of 52 between Jack Davies and Tom Helm.

Mark Stoneman (63) held the innings together with 63 after the visitors were set 213 in 69 overs.

But leg-spinner Mason Crane took 5-99, turning the ball square in an absorbing encounter as Middlesex slipped to 161-8 before the final fightback.

It was Glamorgan's first home four-day defeat since Middlesex's last visit to Wales in April 2022.

Middlesex's second win of the season takes them into second in division two, seven points behind Sussex, while Glamorgan slip into the lower half of the table.

The home side were bowled out for 372 in their second innings despite some late resistance.

Resuming on 294-7 with a precarious lead of 134, Glamorgan lasted a further hour and 50 minutes adding another 78 runs, despite going 42 balls without scoring at one point.

Zain ul Hassan defended stoically for 34 before Ethan Bamber induced a catch at mid-wicket, while Crane continued his batting promise before he was last out to leg-spinner Luke Hollman (3-57).

With 69 overs to play with, there was no pressure on the visitors' run-rate as Stoneman and Sam Robson made a solid start, adding 65 before Robson (31) dragged one on off Andy Gorvin.

Max Holden (28) and Stoneman took the score into three figures before leg-spinner Crane spun a ball sharply onto Holden's off-stump, and Leus du Plooy (6) survived an impassioned lbw shout from Crane before failing to survive one from James Harris, who had stepped up his pace.

Crane was by now ripping the ball so hard that one delivery ended up directly in slip's hands, and Ryan Higgins feathered the next one to Chris Cooke as Middlesex reached 120-4 at tea.

Nathan Fernandes (15) started brightly but Crane found an edge and Colin Ingram took the slip catch, before another bowling change paid off and Gorvin claimed the vital wicket of Stoneman, caught behind with 55 still needed.

Toby Roland-Jones and Hollman fell for ducks as Crane spun his magic, but Davies and Helm stopped the rot.

Helm nearly played on to Harris but both batters held their nerve, taking their time and putting away the occasional bad ball as they inched closer to their target, despite Crane's constant threat.

Helm (25 not out) finished the game off with a thunderous straight drive off Crane in the evening sunshine, with Davies on 22 not out as Middlesex snatched back a game they had looked favourites to win for most of the four days.

Middlesex host Sussex at Lord's on Friday, 24 May, in the last round of the opening block of Championship games, while Glamorgan are away to Leicestershire.

Middlesex captain Toby Roland-Jones told BBC Radio London: "We are chuffed to bits. We felt we were in control after the first two days.

"It was an impressive Glamorgan fightback and in that third innings of the match, we were working hard against two top-class batters and trying to be as disciplined as possible.

"We managed to finish the job after being set a testing total on a tough wicket to play spin on.

"Rocky (Mark Stoneman) has led from the front in both innings and credit to Davo (Jack Davies) and Helmy (Tom Helm) to get us over the line with an incredible effort."

Glamorgan coach Grant Bradburn told BBC Sport Wales: "We weren't really back in the game until the last moments in our mind.

"We were behind from session one to session 12, so to be in contention was a real credit to the character and skills our team showed.

"It's a loss and it's pleasing to see the boys have taken it quite heavily, which is good in some ways, but we're not going to carry that forward."