Stoneman ton takes Middlesex ahead of Glamorgan

Mark Stoneman takes a shot
Mark Stoneman’s most recent hundred was also against Glamorgan in September 2022 [Huw Evans Agency]

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

Glamorgan: 183 (72.5 overs): Ul Hassan 34; Helm 4-44

Middlesex: 303-6 (101 overs): Stoneman 129, Higgins 53*; Harris 3-76

Middlesex (5 pts) lead Glamorgan (2 pts) by 120 runs with four first-innings wickets standing

Match scorecard

Mark Stoneman led the way with 129 as Middlesex reached 303-6, 120 runs ahead of Glamorgan.

He reached his century without giving a chance, dominating the home attack.

But the visitors saw their scoring rate drop towards the end of the day despite Ryan Higgins’ half-century.

James Harris (3-76) was the most successful of the home bowlers.

Stoneman and Sam Robson took their opening stand to 97 before Robson (28) chipped James Harris to square-leg.

But Glamorgan’s seamers could not initially maintain the same degree of accuracy shown by Tom Helm and company on day one, as Stoneman reached his century just after lunch off 185 balls.

Max Holden was caught down the leg-side off Jamie McIlroy for 20, but Middlesex were still into the lead with just two wickets down despite a tight off-spin spell from Kiran Carlson.

Leus du Plooy played on to Harris for 15 and Stoneman’s lengthy knock ended as he tried to up the run-rate, drilling Carlson to mid-on having faced 244 balls and struck 19 fours.

It marked a run of fine form for the 36 year old left hander against Glamorgan, scoring 97 against them at Lord’s in April and 128 in their previous meeting some 20 months previously.

Ryan Higgins got off to a flying start with some effective reverse sweeps off Carlson, but heavy rain arrived two balls before the tea interval to take 16 overs out of the day.

Higgins was unable to regain momentum after the break although he reached his 50 off 70 balls, and lost partner Nathan Fernandes for 23 with the teenager inside-edging a drive onto his stumps as the bounce looked more variable.

Ethan Bamber then arrived as a rather premature night-watchman, ran off apparently to check an errant contact lens, and returned only to be run out at the non-striker’s end as McIlroy tapped Higgins’ straight drive onto the stumps.

That left Middlesex still on top at half-way in the game, but having had to work harder for their advantage.

Middlesex’s Mark Stoneman told BBC Radio London:

"I’m very happy because it’s been a while since I managed to raise the bat (to acknowledge applause) and establish the team’s position in the game.

"I butchered the chance (to get a 100 in April) so it was nice to get over the line and we finished the day in a strong position."

"It’s quite tough scoring when the guys (bowlers) hit their areas, it’s on the lower side but thankfully we managed a couple of partnerships to get ourselves a bit of an advantage."

Glamorgan’s James Harris told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was a pretty tough day after they used a heavy roller on the wicket twice and deadened it somewhat.

"We fought hard, they made 240 for six in the day from 80 overs so we felt we contained quite well, though we’re a little bit behind in the game so we need more wickets in the morning."