The LV= County Championship match against Surrey ended in a tame draw after Surrey, not surprisingly, decided that the target of 343 runs to win in 48 overs was not on. Middlesex took four points from the match with Surrey taking nine points. After being forced to follow on 172 runs behind Surrey, Middlesex extended their second innings to 514-8 with skipper Chris Rogers making a superb 214.
In the morning, Middlesex resumed their second innings on 283-2 and with the second new ball only four overs old. Night-watchman, Steve Finn stroked the fifth ball of the day through the covers for a four but off the next delivery from Derrnbach, Finn got an edge and Solanki took the catch at third slip. Dawid Malan joined skipper Chris Rogers who began the day on 131 not out. Rogers played Linley for three successive twos off his legs and in his next over, Rogers cut Linley for two fours.
Dawid Malan pulled Dernbach for a four and also scored a three in the same over before Rogers hit the last ball of the over for a four. Zander de Bruyn replaced Dernbach at the Pavilion End and Rogers hit the first ball of the over for a three to reach his 150 (off 261 balls, 13 fours). Rogers hit two fours later in the over as Middlesex reached 328-3 after 94 overs. Rogers pulled Linley for a six over mid-wicket and also hit de Bruyn for a six into the Grandstand.
Tim Tremlett replaced de Bruyn at the Pavilion End and Rogers scored a four and a single to bring up his two hundred off 293 balls (2 sixes & 19 fours). Dawid Malan then hit Tremlett for two leg-side fours as Tremlett conceded sixteen runs in the over. Rogers was dropped by Harinath at deep extra-cover in the following over from Gareth Batty but Rogers pressed on in order to set up a declaration.
Rogers and Malan were particularly severe on Tremlett whose first three overs went for 34 runs. The total reached 417-3 before Rogers played across the line and was bowled by Gareth Batty for a magnificent 214 (off 307 balls, 2 sixes & 20 fours); Surrey captain Graeme Smith, recognised the great innings that Rogers had played and shook him by the hand as he left for the Pavilion.
Paul Stirling joined Dawid Malan but Malan was dismissed without addition to the total when he drove a Tremlett delivery straight to Smith at mid-on to be dismissed for 47 (off 72 balls, 5 fours). Neil Dexter came in but only three runs were added before Stirling (1) got a top-edge to a cut and Solanki ran from slip to take the catch and give Tremlett a second wicket. John Simpson joined Dexter who scored a four off the last ball of Tremlett’s over and Middlesex went into lunch on 424-6, a lead of 252 runs with a minimum of 69 overs remaining in the match.
Dexter and Simpson had to play themselves in against the off-spin of Batty at one end and Dernbach’s medium pace and the pair added only a further 38 runs in twelve overs after lunch. Vikram Solanki then replaced Batty at the Nursery End and in his second over, Simpson hit him for a six over mid-wicket. Dexter then went on the rampage, hitting Solanki for three sixes in his next over and reaching a 55 ball fifty.
Neil Dexter was then caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Linley off Rory Burns’ bowling for 59 (off 61 balls, 3 sixes & 2 fours). Arun Harinath replaced Solanki at the Nursery End and he accounted for Roland-Jones (2) who was superbly caught by the diving Burns at deep mid-wicket. John Simpson scored a single off the next ball to finish on 30 not out as Middlesex declared on 514-8 after 131 runs.
Needing to score at a rate of over seven runs an over, Burns and Smith scored 32 runs off the first six overs from Murtagh and Finn before Burns was caught at the wicket off Murtagh for 17. Arun Harinath joined Smith and the pair took Surrey to 41-1 at tea, leaving a further 302 runs required from 39 overs. It was obvious that the game was dead and after tea, Smith and Harinath opted for batting practice as they reached 85-1 at 5.00pm and the match ended as a draw. Smith was 48 not out with Harinath 20 not out.
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