Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day three):
Middlesex 384 Malan 166; Carey 4-54 & 342 Robson 142*, Simpson 56
Glamorgan 171 Helm 5-53 & 171-6 Hemphrey 52*, Labuschagne 51
Glamorgan (3 pts) need a further 385 runs to beat Middlesex (7 pts) with four wickets standing

Middlesex are on the verge of their third win of the season after setting Glamorgan a mammoth 556 to win.

The home side stumbled to 171-6 in 66 overs, despite fifties for Charlie Hemphrey and Marnus Labuschagne.

A nagging attack on a difficult wicket claimed five lbw verdicts, with two each for Toby Roland-Jones and Nathan Sowter.

Sam Robson batted through the Middlesex innings of 343 to finish on 142 not out as the visitors opted not to declare.

Tom Helm (38) and last man Tim Murtagh (38) swung hard to increase Glamorgan’s frustration and send the final-innings target ever higher, leaving Robson as the first Middlesex opener to carry his bat since Nick Compton in 2006.

Hemphrey and Labuschagne put together a second-wicket stand of 97 to frustrate the visitors, but Labuschagne’s last Glamorgan knock in his current spell ended when Roland-Jones won a marginal lbw appeal.

The Australian Test hopeful ended with 1114 runs and 19 wickets from 10 Championship matches for Glamorgan.

But a late clatter of wickets as the ball kept low on the tricky surface meant Middlesex are virtually assured of boosting their promotion challenge despite Hemphrey’s lengthy vigil.

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