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Tim Murtagh Exclusive: Rory Hamilton-Brown wicket key to Middlesex victory over Surrey

20:55 14 April 2012

Middlesex fast bowler Tim Murtagh

Middlesex fast bowler Tim Murtagh

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Paceman believes early breakthrough if they are to beat his former side

Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh believes removing Surrey skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown early tomorrow morning will be vital if they are to complete a victory over their London rivals.

The south Londoners need another 46 runs to secure their first Championship win of the season and with six wickets in hand it would seem all is under control.

However 19 wickets fell at Lord's today as all 22 players had a bat and with Hamilton-Brown (51 not out) the only man to reach a half century, Murtagh knows an early breakthrough could lead to a Surrey batting collapse.

"He has come out and played positively which is probably what you have to do on that wicket, the paceman told London24.

"You almost hang around and you have one with your name on it. He played well but if we can, knock him over early tomorrow morning.

"The pitch is doing plenty at different points. It's weird as it has gone through phases of doing a lot and quietening down then doing a lot again.

"Us bowlers love these conditions and we look to take advantage as we know batters do when they play on flat wickets, so yeah mainly the wicket is the cause for the wickets today."

Middlesex felt the full force of what the pitch could do this afternoon as Jon Lewis picked up 5-41 to help skittle Neil Dexters side out for just 106 in just over 34 overs.

It was a case of dj vu for Middlesex, who suffered a similar collapse in their second innings against Somerset in their season opener, when they lost seven wickets for just 40 runs.

"We played some good cricket at Taunton we had a crazy session and we bowled out for 100, like we have done today," Murtagh moaned.

"It's those one sessions in games that you know that are hurting us. Once we get that right we will string a few performances together.

"We were a match for Somerset and we have matched Surrey stride for stride here.

"We are not far away but that means nothing if you dont get the results."

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