Trailing by 231 runs at the start of the third day’s play of the LV= County Championship match against leaders, Nottinghamshire at Uxbridge, Middlesex batted with great determination in the face of a huge first innings deficit.
Led by a superb innings of 127 not out from Andrew Strauss and with useful contributions from Sam Robson (26), Chris Rogers (59) and 15 not out from Joe Denly, Middlesex cleared the arrears with just two wickets lost and were eight runs ahead when the rain arrived at tea and no further play was possible.
After another magnificent effort by the Uxbridge ground staff, play started on time with Andrew Strauss and Sam Robson beginning the long road ahead for survival. The pair survived the first six overs before Robson was missed by Voges at second slip off Ben Phillips with the total on just twelve.
The first innings destroyer, Andre Adams came on at the Gatting Way end after four overs from Harry Gurney but the Middlesex openers held firm with the fifty coming up in the 16th over. Andy Carter replaced Ben Phillips after eight overs at the Pavilion end and in his second over, Carter had Sam Robson caught at the wicket for 26 to leave Middlesex on 55-1.
Chris Rogers joined Strauss, who was now batting with all of his old confidence, scoring runs through backward point, the covers and meaty pulls through mid-wicket. Rogers too battled hard and the pair saw off the threat of Andre Adams whose nine over spell of bowling cost just nineteen runs. Strauss reached a 91 ball fifty (6 fours) in the penultimate over before lunch as Middlesex reached 107-1 at the interval after 35 overs, Strauss was 51 not out with Rogers 20 not out.
After three runs came off the opening over after lunch, Chris Rogers hit three spanking fours in the next over, bowled by Andre Adams. Five runs came off the third over after the break before three successive maiden overs followed. Strauss was missed at the wicket off Adams when on 59 and the Middlesex total advanced to 139-1 after 45 overs before Rogers, who began the 46th over on 42 not out, struck Adams for two threes and a four in the over to bring up an 82 ball fifty (7 fours).
Samit Patel returned to bowl his left-arm spin at the Pavilion end and Strauss went down the track in his second over and hit him for a six over long-on. In the following over, Gurney returned to replace Adams at the Gatting Way end but Strauss hit him for successive fours in his opening over. Strauss completely dominated the bowling by now, taking seven runs off Patel’s seventh over and two fours in Patel’s next over to reach a superb hundred off 157 balls (1 six & 12 fours).
The total had reached 198-1 before Chris Rogers was trapped LBW by Harry Gurney for 59, his partnership with Andrew Strauss having produced 143 runs for the second wicket. Joe Denly joined Strauss and the scoring rate slowed with Denly keen to consolidate after a first innings duck. The pair added 41 runs in sixteen overs to take Middlesex to tea on 239-2 with Andrew Strauss on 127 not out and Joe Denly 15 not out.
The new ball is available to Nottinghamshire after ten overs tomorrow morning but with another unsettled weather forecast, Middlesex are in with a good chance of saving the match.
Heavy overnight rain resulted in the match being abandoned as a draw before the start of play.
Middlesex take six points from the match.
MATCH REPORT FOR DAYS 1 & 2 can be found on the Fixtures page by CLICKING HERE (then click "More Info" next to the fixture & "Match Report").
As we return to the second half of the season after the Friends Life t20 competition, Middlesex CCC are pleased to announce the following 13-man squad to play against Nottinghamshire in their LV= County Championship match starting at Uxbridge tomorrow, Wednesday 11 July:
Chris Rogers (c)
Gates will open at 10am with the match starting at 11am.
Tickets can be bought on the gate on the day & cost £10 for adults and £5 for over 65s and under 16s. Day 4 is Free entry to everyone.
U15s must be accompanied by an adult.
Parking: £5 for non-members, £3 for Middlesex members.
For more information on how to get to Uxbridge Cricket Club CLICK HERE.
To keep up to date with Middlesex County Cricket Club news and updates! Click here to visit our page or click the like button below to like us.