Chris Rogers the hero as century rescues draw for Middlesex against Lancashire
18:30 26 May 2012
County Championship Division One: Middlesex (five points) drew with Lancashire (nine points)
Chris Rogers struck a match-saving century as Middlesex eased to a draw against Lancashire at Liverpool.
Rogers, who is standing in as captain of the four-day team whilst Neil Dexter attempts to regain form with the bat, finished unbeaten on 138 not out off a total 269 balls.
Sam Robson contributed 50, while Joe Denly struck an unbeaten 61 as Middlesex reached 265 for one from 96 overs in the face of a token victory target of 429 when the players shook hands at 5pm.
This result - just the second championship draw at Liverpool in 14 matches - means that despite Lancashire’s dominance in the contest, they are still without a win this season in seven matches.
Rogers’ last hundred came in the Sheffield Shield for Victoria against Western Australia, his former state, at Perth on March 3.
He survived two loud lbw shouts on 16 and 55 off Glen Chapple and Simon Kerrigan, the former being in the day’s first over, and was caught at second slip by Ashwell Prince off a Steven Croft no ball on 112 during the afternoon session.
But he was untroubled for the vast majority of his innings on a placid pitch showing the odd signs of turn for left-arm spinner Kerrigan.
Robson was caught behind by Gareth Cross off Kyle Hogg in the 45th over of the innings, leaving the score at 104 for one, shortly after the right-hander had brought up his half-century off 143 balls.
Despite that being Middlesex’s only loss in the day, they never showed any inclination to chase the target.
Lancashire’s third innings, when they lost four wickets for 16 runs in 14 balls in pursuit of quick runs ahead of their declaration, showed just what can happen on this pitch when batsmen try to up the ante.
Rogers reached three figures off 203 balls with a cover driven four off Prince’s first ball in first-class cricket since August 2008, when the South African played for Nottinghamshire against Sussex.
Lancashire took the second new ball immediately after tea with Middlesex at 201 for one but Chapple and Hogg gave way to spin in the form of Kerrigan and Croft after four overs as the game petered out.
However, there was enough time for Denly to bring up his fifty off 135 balls.
Lancashire gained nine points from their fourth draw of the campaign, which lifts them out of the Division One relegation zone ahead of Wednesday’s trip to face bottom side Durham at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Middlesex, who remain fourth in the table having taken five points, face Sussex at Lord’s on Wednesday.