Middlesex forced to settle for draw

Close, day four: Middlesex 402 & 181-6d v Warwickshire 324 & 78-1

Middlesex 10pts, Warwickshire 8pts

Warwickshire’s top order remained steadfast to deny Middlesex a deserved victory on the final day at Uxbridge.

The hosts went into day four with a 183-run and extended that to 260 after losing 3-70 on Saturday morning before declaring the second innings.

Neil Dexter remained 84 not out but after the rest of the natural batsmen, Eoin Morgan, John Simpson and allrounder Gareth Berg, fell it was time to send Warwickshire back under the cosh and take the 10 wickets needed for victory.

But Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones (pictured above), Steven Crook and Ollie Rayner could not break the walls put up by Varun Chopra (38no), William Porterfield (23) and Jim Troughton (10no).

Middlesex had been set up fantastically for an important win in their pursuit of the County Championship, after falling away slightly from the top-pack since the league restarted last month.

And after Dexter had taken the lead up to an insurmountable total, the onus was on the in-form Murtagh and Roland-Jones to bowl the visitors out again.

But Warwickshire seemed happy to take the draw back to the midlands, putting up a stern defence, and they lost just the Ireland captain Porterfield in the afternoon before a draw was declared midway through the final session.

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