After Middlesex were bowled out by Warwickshire for 412 to leave the hosts chasing 367 runs to win in a minimum of 83 overs,
Middlesex were thwarted by the weather which cut 25 overs from the allocation and the match was drawn with Warwickshire on 153-7.
In the morning, Middlesex resumed their second innings on 351-5 with Dawid Malan on 138 not out and Gareth Berg 53 not out. Malan added two singles to his score before he was caught at the wicket off Chris Wright’s bowling in the second over of the day. Steven Crook joined Berg who hit Wright for two fours in Wright’s next over. Crook then hit Barker for a two and a four before he pulled him over mid-wicket for a six.
The pair took Middlesex to 399-6 before Boyd Rankin, who had replaced Wright at the City End, had Crook caught down the leg-side by keeper Ambrose for nineteen. Gareth Berg had played beautifully in reaching 78 before he disappointingly smashed a Wright delivery straight to Maddy at cover. Tim Murtagh joined Toby Roland-Jones at the wicket and after Roland-Jones took three runs off the first five balls of Rankin’s 20th over, Murtagh edged the first ball he faced to second slip where Rikki Clarke took the catch.
Toby Roland-Jones hit two fours in Wright’s 21st over before he pulled the last ball of the over into the hands of Barker at deep mid-wicket to be dismissed for twelve as Middlesex were all-out for 412. Chris Wright had figures of 5-119 from 21 overs with Boyd Rankin taking 5-78 in 20 overs.
Fifty-six minutes remained for Warwickshire to bat before lunch but when Middlesex took three wickets in the session, the hosts were never in the hunt for 367. Tim Murtagh struck in the fifth over of the innings when he had first innings centurion Westwood caught at the wicket for a duck. Varun Chopra then drove a Roland-Jones delivery straight to Tim Murtagh at mid-on to be dismissed for four.
Will Porterfield and Jim Troughton took Warwickshire to 30-2 after eleven overs before Ravi Patel was brought on to bowl the over before lunch. With his first delivery, Patel lured Porterfield (12) down the track and missed the ball to leave Rossington with a straight forward stumping. Darren Maddy came in to bat and he took two fours off the remainder of Patel’s over as the hosts went into lunch on 38-3.
Steven Crook, who had bowled one over at the City End before lunch, continued his spell with Gareth Berg replacing Patel at the Pavilion End. It was Berg who got the first wicket of the afternoon when he trapped Maddy LBW to reduce Warwickshire to 54-4 in the 18th over. Rikki Clarke joined Troughton and from the way the pair played it was obvious that they were only interested in survival.
The score advanced to 79-4 after 30 overs before Clarke got fed-up with blocking and went down the track to hit Ravi Patel for a straight six. That was to be Clarke’s last scoring shot as he was LBW to a Toby Roland-Jones delivery for fifteen. Tim Ambrose came into bat with the score on 86-5 but rain arrived before he faced a ball and an early tea was taken.
Play resumed at 4.25pm but a total of sixteen overs were lost, leaving Middlesex a minimum 36 overs in which to take the remaining five wickets. Ravi Patel continued to bowl after the break and he took the sixth wicket when he had Troughton caught at the wicket for 42 to leave Warwickshire on 100-6.
In fading light, Middlesex were further handicapped by not being able to bring back Roland-Jones or Murtagh so Dawid Malan came on to bowl his leg-breaks at the Pavilion End. Although the target was well out of range, Ian Blackwell knows only one way to play and he took twelve runs off Patel’s 10th over. However, Patel had his revenge when he held a return chance offered by Blackwell who was dismissed for 23 to reduce Warwickshire to 134-7 with 6.1 overs remaining plus the final hour of the match.
Ambrose and Barker survived and the final hour began with the hosts on 143-7 but with the light not having improved, Middlesex had little option but to continue with spinners. Joe Denly replaced Malan for two overs at the Pavilion End but the pair had survived twenty minutes of the final hour (7.4 overs were bowled in that time) before the umpires decided that the light was too bad even with spinners operating at both ends.
The match was left drawn with Middlesex taking eight points to Warwickshire’s nine points. Ravi Patel, who had a fine debut match, taking 3-60 in 18 overs with Toby Roland-Jones taking 2-22 in 10 overs, Tim Murtagh 1-14 in 5 overs and Gareth Berg taking 1-13 in 5 overs.
CLICK HERE to read the Match Reports from Days 1, 2 & 3 (then click MORE INFO next to the relevant fixture & MATCH REPORT)
After a couple of disappointing results we need to produce a strong performance against Warwickshire this week.
Yes, in the Sussex game we lost to a better side, but in the games against Durham and Surrey we should have left as victors. Sandwiched in between was a strong display against Warwickshire. (Match Analysis for these matches is available by CLICKING HERE and then clicking MORE INFO next to the relevant fixture).
Not a great deal has gone our way over the course of the past few weeks but we cannot afford to mope around and feel sorry for ourselves. What we need to do is make sure we play with the same intensity and skill as we did in previous games. If we can do that and have a little good fortune there is no reason why we cannot finish the season strongly.
Our main problem in the past few weeks has been losing wickets in clusters. It has happened in our past three matches. No side can afford for this to happen and it is important we post bigger first innings totals than we recently have. Batsmen have to make sure they make an extra effort to get themselves in and when they do to be ruthless.
We have made a couple of changes to the squad that lost to Surrey. Ravi Patel comes in for Tom Smith and Tom Scollay comes in as batting cover ahead of Andy Balbirnie. We do not expect to play on a similar pitch to that we encountered at The Oval but Tom offers a spin option if it is similar.
Middlesex are pleased to announce the following 13-man squad to play against Warwickshire in the LV=CC match at Edgbaston starting tomorrow, Tuesday 21 August:
Chris Rogers (captain)
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.