Warwickshire 224-8: Ambrose 84*; Murtagh 4-41, Rayner 2-74
Close, day three: Warwickshire lead Middlesex by 17 runs
Middlesex’s slim title hopes were all but ended as they allowed Warwickshire off the hook at Edgbaston while leaders Yorkshire secured a crushing victory.
Needing a win themselves to keep pressure on the front-runners, Middlesex reduced Warwickshire to 86-6 thanks to some superb bowling.
Ollie Rayner took the first wicket with the third ball of the morning, while Tim Murtagh claimed the key scalps of Varun Chopra (44), Sam Hain (21) and Rikki Clarke (0).
But former England wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose made a fine half century, and shared in a stand of 87 with Keith Barker (30) that steadied the ship.
Paul Stirling removed Barker, only his fifth wicket in the County Championship, and when Murtagh had Jeetan Patel caught at slip without scoring, Warwickshire were 174-8.
But Ambrose remained at the crease and added a further 50 with number 10 batsman Chris Wright to give Warwickshire a first-innings lead that had seemed unlikely that morning.
Bad light brought an early end to the day’s play, with Ambrose unbeaten on 84 and Wright digging in with 16 off 62 balls.