Middlesex v Warwickshire, LV County Championship
Warwickshire and Middlesex drew their match at Uxbridge after rain prevented play before lunch on the final day. For photos from this match please visit http://philbrittphotos.zenfolio.com/f708241729
Heavy rain before the due start prevented any play before lunch on the final day and when the players did finally get into action Middlesex quickly lost Malan 15 caught at slip by Porterfield off Patel and Morgan nicking an attempted drive to Ambrose off a short ball from Wright.
Rankin’s catches removed Simpson and Berg after Dexter 84* had completed his fifty, before Middlesex declared 259 runs ahead with 40 overs for the Bears to get their target.
With no possibility of the Bears reaching their target Middlesex picked up Porterfield 21 but with just under an hour’s play left the players shook hands as a draw.
Looking to wipe out the overnight deficit of 224 runs, Warwickshire lost skipper Jim Troughton 60 early on the third day when he edged a rising delivery from Berg to Simpson before adding to his overnight score.
Ian Westwood 111 completed the eleventh first-class century of his career but then edged Murtagh to Malan at slip and Darren Maddy 21 followed when hitting a full toss straight to Berg on the cover point boundary off Crook.
Tim Ambrose became Murtagh’s fourth victim when he was caught at slip by Malan for forty and a restrained Rikki Clarke went in similar fashion to a Rayner catch off Dexter for eleven.
Wickets continued to tumble as Patel was caught behind by Simpson off Dexter for six, Wright 13 lost his off stump to Berg and Rankin’s attempted drive lofted to Malan to give Rayner his first wicket ,while Woakes 27* could only watch support from the tail enders crumble away.
With a first innings lead of seventy eight, Denly 16 picked up early boundaries before edging a lifting ball from Wright to Ambrose. Maddy trapped Rogers lbw for thirteen and Patel dismissed Malan 15 when Porterfield took a slip catch.
At the close Middlesex were 104-3 with an overall lead of 182 going into the final day with Dexter 45* and Morgan 7*
There were early wickets on the second morning for Chris Woakes as he removed both overnight batsmen to catches by Ambrose.
The final wicket pair of Murtagh 36* and Crook 30 however were in the mood to take the attack to the Bears, adding seventy two runs before Chris Wright collected a fourth wicket when Crook scooped a catch to Maddy.
After a rain break, the Bears lost two quick wickets to the new ball as Murtagh trapped Chopra lbw for three and Porterfield was well caught at short mid-wicket by Dexter for twelve.
After Troughton survived a slip chance when Rayner spilled a regulation catch off Murtagh, he and Ian Westwood dug in and steadily built their third wicket partnership taking it to 152 by the close with Westwood on 89* and Troughton 60* as the Bears go into the third day on 178-2 trailing Middlesex on first innings by 224 runs.
Warwickshire won the toss at Uxbridge and invited Middlesex to bat on a wicket with a tinge of greenness to it. For the Bears, Wright replaced Barker and Ambrose kept wicket instead of Johnson as the two changes to the side that played against Surrey in the previous LV=CC match
Rogers and Denly battled hard against the new ball attack of Wright and Woakes posting an opening stand of forty one before Rogers’ attempted drive off Wright saw him edge to Ambrose for sixteen.
Joe Denly was in fine form and with his second wicket partner, Neil Dexter 26, added fifty six runs until Rikki Clarke trapped Dexter lbw in the penultimate over before lunch.
In the afternoon session, Malan and Denly, after a cautious start, began to dominate the Bears’ attack and with the ball softening, both men completed half centuries as the third wicket pair combined to add over a hundred runs together in the middle session.
Denly looked to be heading for a certain century until Darren Maddy straightened a ball and trapped him on the crease for ninety five immediately after tea.
Dawid Malan 106 completed his well-constructed century and looked set for a large hundred until Chris Wright with the new ball, sent his off stump flying when the Middlesex left-hander offered no stroke to a full delivery that nipped back.
In the next over Chris Woakes brought the Bears right back into the match when he had Simpson 0 brilliantly caught one-handed by Ambrose and next ball Berg could only fend a rising delivery to Clarke’s hands at slip.
When Morgan then edged am attempted drive low to Ambrose off Wright for nineteen, Warwickshire had taken four wickets for just five runs in twenty four balls with the new ball.
As Warwickshire pushed for further wickets before the close, Middlesex held on, with Rayner 16 and Roland-Jones 13, adding thirty four useful runs to leave their side 324-7 from 97 overs at stumps.