Rain forces Middlesex to settle for draw

Somerset 173 & 227-7dec drew with Middlesex 364-3dec

Middlesex 10pts, Somerset 4pts

Middlesex will be disappointed after the bad weather denied them another win at Lord’s in the County Championship.

After only 17.5 overs of play on day three, Middlesex declared their first-innings reply on 364-3 on the final morning with an 191-run lead.

The race to bowl Somerset out was therefore on, with no extra time allowed on the final day.

But after putting the visitors four down for 90 runs from 26 overs, Peter Trego and Nick Compton both made half-centuries to put Somerset back into the lead and, with the score 227-7, a draw was declared.

Middlesex had done excellently with both bat and ball on the first two days despite rain causing interruptions, but the near write-off that was day three cost them victory.

Declaring their reply and putting Somerset back under the spotlight was the only positive choice in pursuit of a deserved victory, and they got off to a flying start.

Former West Indies international Corey Collymore sent the dangerous Arul Suppiah packing for four in the second over before Tim Murtagh added Alex Barrow for a duck in the third.

Compton and England Lions man James Hildreth bedded in and made the first real partnership, making 77 from just over 18 overs, but a heavy shower interrupted their progress.

And it allowed Middlesex to return with renewed vigour and bowl out Hildreth for 38 before Craig Kieswetter came and went with the score now 90-4.

Another future England prospect, Jos Butler, made 16 in support of Compton but it was the elder who progressed to his half-century just before tea, with Trego his new partner.

Trego’s dominant, rapid 50 in just 54 balls made the score 176-6, and along with Compton’s unbeaten stand possibly earned Somerset the draw.

Having taken his side back into the lead, Trego fell to Murtagh but Compton carried on with Alfonso Thomas, who made an unbeaten 39 until stumps.

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