Middlesex secure draw to tighten grip on second

Middlesex 207 & 173-6: Dexter 43, Compton 28; Patel 3-65
Warwickshire 254
Warwickshire (10 pts) drew with Middlesex (9 pts)

Neil Dexter once again came to Middlesex’s aid with a resilient 43 as their match at Edgbaston ended in a draw.

The visitors had looked in a spot of bother midway through the final day at 105-5, a lead of only 58, with a potential 40 overs still left to bowl.

But Dexter, whose 53 helped Middlesex recover from a similar score in the first innings, again showed his mettle on a turning pitch to defy the in-form Jeetan Patel, while scoring eight boundaries.

And though he departed after tea, Warwickshire wasted 10 overs trying to break up a dogged partnership between John Simpson (14 not out) and Ollie Rayner (21 not out) before accepting the inevitable result.

Earlier in the day, Middlesex needed about an hour to take the last two Warwickshire wickets, though Tim Ambrose added only five to his overnight score of 84, while Chris Wright ended unbeaten on 32.

That gave the home side a lead of 47, with quick wickets a necessity if they were to have a shot at victory.

They got one before lunch, with Paul Stirling out for four, and Keith Barker also removed Sam Robson soon after the restart.

Patel, who took 5-59 in the first innings, chipped away at a dogged middle order, dislodging Dawid Malan (10), Nick Compton (28) and James Franklin (16) to leave Warwickshire hunting five quick wickets to set themselves a target.

But Dexter again proved elusive, with Simpson dropping anchor at the other end, as Middlesex stretched their unbeaten Championship run to seven matches and tighten their grip on second place.

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