Derbyshire 265 and 333-3
Middlesex 157 and 340 (Harris 64 not, Helm 52, Roland-Jones 46, Olivier 4-82)
Derbyshire won by 101 runs
A home win. The first since 2014. In the first game of the summer too, so the weight is removed from our neck, the monkey from our back, the albatross consigned to history.
Full credit to Middlesex tonight, because the game looked as good as done at lunch, but Harris, Helm and Roland-Jones batted sensibly and with great skill and courage to take things into the final hour. Truth be told, I couldn't see where we were splitting that ninth wicket stand, as they had defied everything we threw at them. Helm made the first fifty of his county career and Harris barely looked troubled as the wicket got slower.
There was a very close shout for lbw, when Hardus Viljoen hit Harris on the pad with a full toss. When that was turned down I feared the worst, but Matt Critchley returned from an earlier, one-over mauling by Roland-Jones, in which he finished a flurry of boundaries by hitting straight to Ben Slater.
A good ball, what looked like his googly, was enough to see the umpire's finger raised and that exposed Tim Murtagh, one of the more rabbit-like tail enders in the county game. He handled Critchley OK, but once the quicks returned he wasn't going to stay for long and Duanne Olivier bowled him to seal a memorable win.
Critchley did well, two wickets showing his value to the side, while Wayne Madsen's crucial wicket just before lunch opened up what we thought was the tail. So much for that, eh?
Olivier finished with four wickets, to go with four in the first innings, while Hardus Viljoen ran in hard and didn't quite get his just reward in this game. I thought Ravi Rampaul's post-tea spell was excellent, troubled the batsmen and made them work, though we were a little wide with lines at times again today.
When Holden and Rayner were quickly removed this morning, an easy win looked on the cards, but Derbyshire had to work, the bowlers had to bend their backs and the fielders, as they did throughout the match, held most of what came their way.
It wasn't a bad wicket and credit to Neil Godrich and his team for producing one, after all the weather we have had, that took the game into the final hour of the fourth day.
We'd have liked it a little less worrying than that, but this was a superb advert for county championship cricket. Middlesex, with their fighting spirit to the very end, showed why they will challenge for promotion this year, irrespective of this result.
Derbyshire? We've shown a few non-believers what we are capable of.
Those pre-season predictions of tenth place might be even less clever now.
Well done guys. You stuck to it well and got your reward in the end.