May 26 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 4, 2012
A morning downpour at Uxbridge effectively scuppered Middlesex’s hopes of forcing a result as their County Championship clash with Warwickshire petered out into a tame draw.
Middlesex’s stand-in skipper Chris Rogers had planned to tempt the Division One leaders with a final-day target of 300, but had to revise that strategy after rain meant play could not start until 1.45pm.
Rogers eventually declared on 181-6, with Neil Dexter unbeaten on 84, but the sides had to share the points after Warwickshire declined to chase 260 from 40 overs.
“I was hoping to set them around 300 off 70 or something like that, and that might have got them interested,” Rogers told london24.com. “But as soon as the overs got reduced it meant they could pull the pin.
“You never know what’s going to happen – if their batsmen had nicked everything instead of playing and missing we might have had them three or four down early on and they might have panicked.
“So I don’t think there would have been any point in us hanging around and batting on – it was always more than likely it was going to be a draw but you’ve got to give yourself the chance.”
When Middlesex finally resumed on 108-3, Eoin Morgan failed to add to his overnight score as he was caught behind by Tim Ambrose at the third attempt.
John Simpson scored a quick 18 as Middlesex toyed with the idea of setting the visitors a target, but he and Gareth Berg (1) holed out to Boyd Rankin on the boundary in quick succession.
Dexter advanced to 84 not out, but the declaration came soon after a rising delivery from Chris Wright that struck the groin area and left him doubled up in pain.
But Warwickshire never looked remotely interested in pursuing victory and William Porterfield crawled to 23 before slapping a long-hop from Ollie Rayner straight to Berg.
The game meandered tediously to a close and, although the captains could have shaken hands at 5pm, Rogers surprisingly opted to continue for four more overs before play finally ended with the visitors on 78-1.
“It was just to give Ollie some overs,” Rogers explained. “We’ve got an important run-in and I think he’s going to play an important role, so it was just a case of trying to get him some rhythm.
“I think Warwickshire wanted to come off – we were never going to win the game at that stage, but you’ve got to look towards the future.”
Paul Stirling is expected to return to the Middlesex side in place of Joe Denly when the Panthers face Worcestershire at Uxbridge in a Clydesdale Bank 40 match on Sunday.