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Fri 11 May
Middlesex
Middlesex
-
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire

Specsavers County Championship Division Two
Venue: Lord's
Duration: 4 days

Result: Match drawn

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CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY FOUR

Match Result - Match Drawn

Middlesex 12 points

Gloucestershire 8 points

James Bracey’s second century of the season saw Gloucestershire comfortably salvage a draw in their County Championship clash with Middlesex at Lord’s.

The Bristol-born left-hander mixed obdurate defence and steely concentration with a sprinkling of boundaries to lead the visitors to safety on the final day after they had been forced to follow on.

Bracey raised his ton with his 12th four, clenching his fist in celebration of 272 minutes of sterling effort, before finishing undefeated on 125.

Wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (48) and Jack Taylor (41) lent staunch support on a day when the home side’s bowling attack toiled hard, but never looked likely to claim the eight wickets needed to force a win.

Middlesex, badly needing a win after a spluttering start to the red-ball campaign, were always going to need early wickets on day four, but in Bracey and Roderick met two batsmen determined to entrench.

Bracey survived two LBW shouts on 19, the latter from spinner Ollie Rayner the closer of the two, but those scares apart was relatively untroubled. One straight drive for four off Steven Finn underlined his burgeoning talent.

Roderick too offered no cause for optimism to the Lord’s tenants as they went wicketless to the lunch interval.

The breakthrough came soon after the resumption when Roderick pushed at one slanting across him from James Harris and edged to Rayner who took a smart low catch at second slip.

One wicket though failed to bring two as Jack Taylor took up the baton for the visitors.

Bracey soon had 50 and as the afternoon wore on the Middlesex bowlers tired, offering him the chance to expand his repertoire of strokes.

Taylor too played nicely though he should have been run out when a drive from Bracey was deflected onto the stumps by bowler Tom Helm with the non-striker having strayed beyond the safety of the crease. However, vehement appeals from both bowler and captain Dawid Malan went unheeded.

The 26-year-old wouldn’t make the most of the reprieve, inside edging a ball from Harris (3-60) onto his stumps shortly before tea, but by then a draw was within Gloucestershire’s grasp.

The interval served only to delay what had long seemed an inevitable hundred for Bracey, a hugely creditable effort despite the increasingly benign pitch conditions.

Graeme van Buuren (46 not out) joined in the fun after tea until the inevitable handshakes came.

Failure to bowl the visitors out twice over the final two days means Middlesex, pre-season favourites for an immediate return to county cricket’s top tier, have just one win from five games and are already more than 30 points adrift of leaders Warwickshire.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY FOUR

Gloucestershire 246 for 4

James Bracey neared a century as Gloucestershire moved to the brink of safety on the final afternoon of their County Championship match with Middlesex at Lord’s.

The 21-year-old left hander proved a model of resolute concentration throughout the second session of the final day, never offering a chance and reaching 92 out of the visitors’ total of 246-4.

They lead by 1 run with six wickets in hand and just a session remaining.

Gareth Roderick, who’d offered staunch support throughout the morning session fell to a low catch at slip by Rayner off James Harris soon after lunch, but it proved a false dawn.

Bracey continued untroubled to a half-century with five fours and as Middlesex’s bowlers tired he added a handful more. There was controversy when the home side claimed a run-out at the non-strikers, Tom Helm seemingly deflecting a Bracey drive onto the stumps with Jack Taylor short of his ground, but the appeals went unheeded.

Taylor was bowled off the inside edge by the persevering James Harris, but the game appears destined to peter out into a draw.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY FOUR

Gloucestershire - 149 for 2

Gareth Roderick and James Bracey raised Gloucestershire’s hopes of a draw on the final morning of their Specsavers County Championship match with Middlesex at Lord’s.

The duo batted throughout the first session, to bring the visitors within 96 runs of forcing Middlesex to bat again, reaching lunch at 149-2.

Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan rotated his bowlers and employed some innovative fields in a bid to separate the pair.

However, a couple of LBW shouts against Bracey, one by Tom Helm, the other from spinner Ollie Rayner – both with the left-hander on 19 - were the closest the hosts came to a breakthrough.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reports Network.


CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY THREE

Gloucestershire - 66 for 2

Gloucestershire face an uphill battle to stave off County Championship defeat on Monday after they were made to follow on against Middlesex at Lord’s.

Visiting captain Chris Dent, who had struggled for form with the bat, top scored with 66 but it was not enough to prevent his side being bowled out for 210 in two sessions.

Middlesex’s Australian all-rounder Hilton Cartwright returned career-best figures of 4-33 in the first innings, with Tom Helm taking 3-48 and spinner Ollie Rayner 2-23.

That left Gloucestershire 245 behind at the start of their second innings and, although the West Country side reduced the deficit by 66, they go into the final day with just eight wickets standing.

Middlesex bowled well in the morning but initially without any reward as both Dent and James Bracey found the gap between slips and gully all too frequently.

Dent – who averaged just 8.5 coming into this match – survived what looked a strong lbw shout from Steven Finn, while Sam Robson spilled an edge from Bracey at first slip.

The opening pair put together a stand of 72 before Cartwright made the breakthrough, persuading Bracey (28) to attempt a cut that saw him caught behind off the bottom edge.

Gareth Roderick lasted just four balls, falling leg before to Cartwright for a duck, and Ollie Rayner reduced the visitors to 90-3 when his first delivery accounted for Graeme van Buuren (6).

Jack Taylor struck a breezy 22 before Finn pinned him lbw in the fifth over after lunch – and Helm then took centre stage with a three-wicket burst to drive home Middlesex’s advantage.

Helm’s spell of 3-16 included the scalp of Dent, who was caught prodding outside the off stump, and a simple return catch to remove former Middlesex all-rounder Ryan Higgins (5).

Benny Howell, who came in down the order after a stomach upset had kept him off the field the previous afternoon, showed some resistance with a gritty knock of 47 from 87 balls.

But Cartwright’s second spell earned him the wickets of Craig Miles (13) and Daniel Worrall (6) and he finished off the innings just before tea, taking a skier at mid-on to remove Howell.

With Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan enforcing the follow-on, Howell was soon back at the crease alongside Dent and the pair made a solid start to their second innings.

Malan rotated his bowlers without success until Howell (16) lost his wicket for the second time in less than two hours, chopping James Harris onto his stumps.

Harris was unlucky not to pick up Dent as well, within Rayner putting down a chance at second slip – but the Gloucestershire captain departed soon afterwards for 35 as Helm found his outside edge.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY THREE

Gloucestershire - 210 all out

Hilton Cartwright recorded career-best figures for the second match running as Middlesex tightened their grip against Gloucestershire by dismissing the visitors for 210 at Lord’s.

The Australian all-rounder finished with 4-33, while Tom Helm took 3-48, including the prize scalp of Gloucestershire skipper Chris Dent for 66, in a mid-afternoon burst.

Aside from Dent, only Benny Howell – who batted down the order at seven after missing part of the previous day’s play due to illness – made much impression with a gritty knock of 47.

The Gloucestershire innings eventually ended when Howell holed out to mid-on off the bowling of Ollie Rayner to leave Middlesex with a healthy 245-run advantage at the tea interval.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY THREE

Gloucestershire - 107 for 3

Gloucestershire skipper Chris Dent scored his first half-century of the season to strengthen his side’s chances of avoiding the follow-on against Middlesex at Lord’s.

Dent, who averaged 8.5 in his first six innings of the campaign, reached lunch unbeaten on 57, with the visitors 107-3 in reply to Middlesex’s total of 455-8 declared.

James Bracey – who opened in place of Benny Howell, recovering from a stomach upset – shared a 72 partnership with Dent and survived a chance to first slip before Hilton Cartwright had him caught behind attempting a cut.

Cartwright also removed Gareth Roderick four balls later, lbw without scoring, while Graeme van Buuren (6) fell to an edge off Ollie Rayner’s first delivery.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY TWO

Middlesex - 455 for 8 dec

The bad weather which has plagued Middlesex’s home fixtures so far this season returned with a vengeance on day two against Gloucestershire at Lord’s.

Only 26 overs were possible before rain arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval and prevented any further play with Middlesex 455-8.

The morning session however did produce drama, notably when the hosts missed out on a fifth batting point after failing to score the four runs required from the last 15 balls of the 110 overs allocated for bonus points.

The near miss means the Lord’s tenants are now destined to go more than a year without collecting maximum batting points in the red-ball format.

Such a scenario appeared unlikely for much of the first hour as overnight batsmen John Simpson and James Harris accumulated runs with few alarms.

However, with the ‘Promised Land’ of 400 in sight, they inexplicably spluttered to a halt.

Harris (24) was first to perish. Aiming a shot to leg off Craig Miles, the former Glamorgan quick instead got a leading edge and ballooned a catch to Daniel Worrall at mid-off.

Angus Fraser’s side were still strongly placed, but following a tight over from Ryan Higgins, Simpson (32) ratcheted up the tension another notch when he nicked a wide ball from Miles (2-85) into the gloves of wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick.

New batsman Tom Helm’s efforts to score the three runs needed from the final five balls foundered and despite a scrambled single off the last delivery they came up two runs short.

Relieved of the pressure of acquiring bonus points, Helm and Ollie Rayner found the freedom and fluency which had previously eluded them to share an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 58.

Rayner was especially forceful, pulling a short ball from spinner Graeme van Buren into the lower tier of the grandstand, before driving the next ball for four.

Helm joined in clubbing two fours off what proved to be the final over of the day.

After two defeats already this season, Middlesex, who declared at lunch, will be hoping the signs of up and down in the wicket will allow them to make early inroads into Gloucestershire’s top order tomorrow – assuming the weather gods ever relent.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


TEA - DAY TWO

Middlesex - 455 for 8 dec

Rain thwarted Middlesex’s attempts to take Gloucestershire wickets on the second afternoon of the Specsavers County Championship Division 2 match at Lord’s.

The hosts declared at their lunch score of 455-8, but the wet weather which had driven the players from the field 10 minutes before the scheduled interval failed to relent, so preventing a resumption.

Middlesex had earlier missed out on maximum batting points by failing to score the four runs needed from the last 15 deliveries of the 110 overs.

John Simpson (32) and James Harris (24) had batted to the brink of the 400 required with few alarms, but both fell to Craig Miles as they came up two runs short.

Ollie Rayner and Tom Helm broke the shackles to add 58 in quick time before the rain set in.

An early tea has been taken, but the prospect of a resumption look slim.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


LUNCH - DAY TWO

Middlesex - 455 for 8

Middlesex contrived to miss a fifth batting point but remain in charge on day two of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Gloucestershire at Lord’s.

Overnight batsmen John Simpson (32) and James Harris (24) batted the hosts to within four runs of the 400 required with 15 balls of the first 110 overs remaining.

However, Craig Miles removed both in quick succession, having Harris caught at mid-off from a leading edge, before Simpson nicked one through to keeper Gareth Roderick, meaning Angus Fraser’s side were two runs short when the overs ran out.

Middlesex though rallied from the disappointment with Ollie Rayner and Tom Helm sharing an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 58 before rain drove the players off 10 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval with the score 455-8.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


CLOSE OF PLAY - DAY ONE

Middlesex - 356 for 6

Middlesex's England stars of present and possibly near future dominated day one of their Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Lord’s.

Nick Gubbins, being touted as a possible opener for England’s first Test of the summer against Pakistan later this month, gave a wonderful audition for the role, before falling one short of a deserved century in a total of 356-6.

Skipper Dawid Malan (76), a current red-ball incumbent for the national side and England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan weighed in with 76 apiece - the latter in his first County Championship appearance in almost three years. The persevering Daniel Worrall was Gloucester’s standout bowler with 3-59.

It is the first time in 13 matches Middlesex have passed 300 in the first innings.

Gubbins wasted no time making Gloucestershire regret their decision to forego the toss and bowl.

He survived a couple of early scares, the first when wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick dropped him down the leg-side off the bowling of Worrall when on just 17.

The second shortly after saw him almost run out by a direct hit from Graham Van Buuren, the ball ricocheting to the boundary for a rare five.

Gubbins’ cover-drives were a joy to behold and the opener was also quick to savagely cut anything short and wide.

Sam Robson, perhaps fortunate to retain his place at the expense of Max Holden by contrast looked edgy early on but found some batting rhythm particularly with some punchy drives through mid-wicket.

The pair added 77 before the excellent Worrall squared up Robson who edged a low catch to Roderick. Gubbins though carried on unperturbed, hitting 10 boundaries in reaching 50 off 73 balls.

Stevie Eskinazi proved a good foil either side of lunch before playing a poor shot to a wide one from Worrall which Kieran Noema-Barnett palmed upwards before claiming at the second attempt.

It was the beginning of an excellent spell from Australian quick Worrall who ended Gubbins’ hopes of back-to-back Championship centuries when the left-hander gloved a rising delivery to give Roderick a second catch behind the stumps.

Sadly, for the visitors, none of Worrall’s teammates found the same life or bowled with the same control, meaning Malan and Morgan wrestled back control with a century stand. Malan, buoyed by last week’s century against Sussex was the early aggressor with some stylish, dreamy off drives, but England’s white-ball captain caught the mood, hoisting Van Buuren for a straight six.

Such was the duo’s dominance it was a shock when Malan fell to the new-ball, trapped LBW by Matthew Taylor to a ball which pitched and rolled along the floor – surely ominous for Gloucestershire whose earlier decision to bowl means they must bat last.

Taylor soon struck again when new batsman Hilton Cartwright wafted a catch to slip and departed without scoring.

Morgan fell LBW just before the close to another ball which kept low from former Middlesex all-rounder, but the hosts have the early initiative.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - TEA

Middlesex 258 for 3

Daniel Worrall dismissed Nick Gubbins for 99 but Middlesex remain in charge on day one of their County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Lord’s.

The South Australian pace-man ended Gubbins’ excellent audition for a place in England’s Test side against Pakistan later this month, producing a lifting ball which the left-hander gloved through to wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick.

It was the second wicket of an excellent spell by the 26-year-old who had earlier bagged the scalp of Stevie Eskinazi, who edged a wide delivery to Kieran Noema-Barnett at first slip – the all-rounder palming the chance up before claiming it at the second attempt.

The hosts though wrestled back control courtesy of an unbroken stand of 72 between skipper Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan - the latter making his first red-ball appearance for almost three years – to go to tea at 258-3.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.


DAY ONE - LUNCH

Middlesex 121 for 1

Nick Gubbins gave England’s selectors a timely nudge with an unbeaten half-century on the first morning of Middlesex’s latest Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Lord’s.

The left-hander, thought to be being considered for the first Test against Pakistan later this month, unleashed a succession of cover drives in reaching 50 off 73 balls.

His one scare came on 17 when he was missed by wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick who spilt a difficult leg-side chance off Daniel Worrall.

The unlucky bowler gained some recompense when Roderick grasped the next chance to claim the wicket of Sam Robson for 36, ending an opening stand of 77.

But with Gubbins unbeaten on 70 Middlesex were powerfully placed at lunch on 122-1.

Match Reports provided by ECB Reporters Network.

MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE - DAY FOUR ACTION play_circle_outline
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MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE - DAY FOUR ACTION

All the action from the final day of our Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire.

DAWID MALAN REFLECTS ON THE DRAW WITH GLOUCESTERSHIRE play_circle_outline
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DAWID MALAN REFLECTS ON THE DRAW WITH GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Captain Dawid Malan chats to us at the end of Day Four against Gloucestershire, after our opponents hold firm to secure the draw.

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MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE - DAY THREE ACTION

All the best of the action from a good day with the ball for Middlesex.

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HILTON CARTWRIGHT AT STUMPS ON DAY THREE VS GLOUCS AT LORD'S

After taking career best first-class figures of 4 for 33 today against Gloucestershire, Hilton Cartwright chats at the close of a good day for Middlesex at Lord's

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MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE - DAY TWO ACTION

All the action from a rain affected second day at Lord's against Gloucestershire.

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DAY TWO IMAGES V GLOUCESTERSHIRE

All of our images from Day 2 against Gloucestershire in the Specsavers County Championship.

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MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE - DAY ONE ACTION

Middlesex enjoyed a good day with the bat on day one of our Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Lord's.

NICK GUBBINS REFLECTS ON A GOOD DAY FOR MIDDLESEX play_circle_outline
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NICK GUBBINS REFLECTS ON A GOOD DAY FOR MIDDLESEX

Middlesex enjoyed a positive first day, reaching 356/6 by close of play. Nick Gubbins top scored with 99.

DAY ONE IMAGES VS GLOUCESTERSHIRE
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DAY ONE IMAGES VS GLOUCESTERSHIRE

All of the images from day one of our Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire.

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MATCH UPDATES - MIDDLESEX V GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Session by session updates from our Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire.

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RICHARD SCOTT LOOKS AHEAD TO THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE CLASH

Middlesex Cricket Head Coach chats at Lord's ahead of Gloucestershire visit to the Home of Cricket on Friday in the Specsavers County Championship.

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SQUAD AND PREVIEW FOR GLOUCESTERSHIRE CHAMPIONSHIP CLASH

Middlesex have named a thirteen man squad for the visit of Gloucestershire to Lord's this week.

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MEMORY LANE – MIDDLESEX’S LARGEST EVER RUNS VICTORY OVER GLOUCESTERSHIRE

With Gloucestershire next up in the Specsavers County Championship, we take a look back at our largest ever runs victory against the club, back in 2005.