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Middlesex 303 for 6 (Stoneman 129, Higgins 53*) lead Glamorgan 183 (Helm 4-44) by 120 runs

A brilliant hundred from Mark Stoneman put Middlesex in command of their Vitality County Championship fixture against Glamorgan in Cardiff.

Having resumed on 62 without loss, Middlesex reached 303 for 6 at the close, 120 runs in front of Glamorgan on first innings. Stoneman's 129 backed up the excellent bowling effort from Middlesex as the visitors took complete control of this match.

There were starts all of the Middlesex top order but three wickets from James Harris pegged back their progress. Ryan Higgins was the only player other than Stoneman to make a significant contribution as he finished the day on 53 not out.

With two days left in this game Middlesex will be hopeful of pushing for their second victory of the season to cement their place in the promotion spots at the top of Division Two.

Stoneman and Sam Robson looked comfortable against the Glamorgan attack in the first hour of the day's play. Stoneman reached fifty from 76 balls and Robson was starting to find some fluency when the first wicket fell.

Robson attempted a pull shot off James Harris as the ball got big on him and he looped a catch to Marnus Labuschagne at midwicket. It was one of the few balls that seemed to hurry a Middlesex batter in the first session with the opening pair putting on 97.

Stoneman was joined by Max Holden and the two went about chasing down Glamorgan's first-innings total of 183. They took the score to 170 for 1 at the lunch break with Stoneman undefeated on 99.

It was the second ball after the lunch break when Stoneman reached his first century of the 2024 season, and his sixth for Middlesex. It was that same over when the stand of 74 between Stoneman and Holden was broken when the latter gloved a ball down the leg side to wicketkeeper Chris Cooke.

Leus du Plooy played some lovely shots during his brief stay at the crease but he fell in similar fashion to Robson. A short ball from Harris appeared to surprise him and he managed to edge onto his stumps for 15.

Stoneman continued to look untroubled and when his wicket did come it was something of a surprise. He played a slog sweep off Kiran Carlson that came off the toe of his bat and he was easily caught at mid-on by Andy Gorvin.

As Stoneman's wicket fell, Middlesex were in front, but only by 52. There was a danger that a further flurry of wickets would undo a lot of the hard work Middlesex had put in to get themselves into that position. Some of those fears were allayed with a solid stand of 64 between Ryan Higgins and Nathan Fernandes that took Middlesex to 297 for 5.

A heavy rain shower meant that tea was taken slightly early and it kept the players off the field for more than an hour and took 16 out of the game. When play did resume Higgins reached another half-century as his run tally for the season passed 500.

A further wicket fell before the close when Ethan Bamber was unfortunate to be run out via a drive from Higgins that Jamie McIlroy got his finger tips to before it smashed into the stumps at the non-strikers end.

Stoneman century puts Middlesex in command

Stoneman century puts Middlesex in command

Having resumed on 62 without loss, Middlesex reach 303 for 6 at stumps, 120 ahead of Glamorgan

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