The weather forecast had originally said to expect rain for most of the third day, in the LV= County Championship game between Northants and Middlesex. However, Middlesex would have been delighted with the sun shining down on them in the middle, instead of the rain falling.
The visitors began day three on 262/3, and it was clear from the off that they meant business, especially Neil Dexter, as he and Joe Denly got Middlesex off to a good start. The pair added 158 to the overnight total before Denly was caught off Hall for 70.
John Simpson was then run out by Northants skipper Stephen Peters, a little while later for 18. When Ollie Rayner was caught off James Middlebrook for 14, Northants looked as if they would bring themselves back into the match. Unfortunately for Northants, Toby Roland-Jones had other ideas, as he smashed 60 off 30 balls, before being caught going for a six. Once this wicket fell, Middlesex decided to declare on 543/7, with Neil Dexter ending on an excellent 163 not out.
The Northants did not get off to a great start, as Middlebrook was bowled by Tim Murtagh for 0. Stephen Peters followed 24 runs later, as he was caught for 10 by Malan, off the outstanding Roland-Jones, who shortly after trapped David Sales lbw for 25. Matthew Spriegel and Rob Newton had then looked to see out the day for Northants, but Spriegel was given out in contentious fashion in the final over of the day. The ball seemed to miss the bat and bounce of Spriegel’s shoe into the hands of Ollie Rayner, but the umpire gave Spriegel out caught off Joe Denly for 36.
That wicket ended the day, as Northants finished on 88/4, still trailing by 172 runs. Follow @NorthantsCCC on Twitter, for regular match updates.