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CRICKET: Mauling by Middlesex left us shell-shocked
Updated 3:06pm Thursday 8th May 2014 in Sport
Having dispatched my former side, Northants, by totally outplaying them and with myself taking career-best match figures, me and my Yorkshire teammates have had a tough two weeks.
The ups and downs of professional cricket are such a see-saw of emotions.
It’s great winning, and celebrating the wins is important as you never know when the next one will come, especially in such a hectic fixture schedule when momentum and form can sometimes get you over the line.
Last week we travelled down on the bus to London to play Middlesex at Lord’s.
For many cricketers, no matter what standard you play, any opportunity to play at the ‘Home of Cricket’ is always special.
And it’s no different for me, even though I have played there before and been involved in matchday squads a couple of times.
Luckily, when I have not been in the starting XI before I have stayed for the match as 12th man, which isn't such a bad deal seeing as you can fill your boots with the best food on the circuit.
For the first two days the pitch had plenty of seam movement in overcast conditions and batting was tough going.
Steven Finn bowled well for Middlesex and, although slightly down on pace, he took wickets in both innings.
We got inserted and were bowled out for 178.
Then as a bowling unit we were incredibly disciplined and skilled to dismiss Middlesex for 123, and gain a healthy lead of 55 on a spicy wicket.
What happened over the next two days was incredible as we succumbed to the third-highest run chase in County Championship history.
This was thanks in no small part to Chris Rogers bunting me and the other bowlers to all parts of the ground as he made an unbeaten 241 to steer Middlesex to victory at 472-3.
The lads and I were shell-shocked in the changing room and it was pretty quiet and solemn.
But we held our hands up, and admitted we were not quite good enough.
Any baggage from the defeat needed to be left in the changing room before we move on to prepare for the next game.
To try and lift the mood on the long bus journey back to Leeds, I stuck ‘Roadhouse’ DVD on for the guys, which went down a storm.
Nothing like a classic 80s movie to lift the mood.
I have to mention Gary Ballance’s century from the Middlesex game, which was a very fine effort.
The final 50 or so runs he scored was in a brutal attack on the bowlers as we went in search of a declaration.
I had the best view of it from the other end in our quick-fire 60-odd partnership, of which I contributed 10 not out, including an attempted slog over the short leg side boundary, which flew off the edge and over the slips for four.
With Gary one of the form players in the country, I hope he gets an extended run in the England side, starting with the one-day international against Scotland tomorrow.