Warwickshire tail wags against Middlesex

Close, day two: Middlesex 39-1 trail Warwickshire 342 by 303 runs

Warwickshire defied the weather to bat themselves into a strong position at the end of another curtailed day at Lord’s.

Laurie Evans hit 98 and tailenders Keith Barker (37) and Jeetan Patel (37) shared in a stand of 72 for the eighth wicket as they dragged their side to 342 all out.

Middlesex then lost Joe Burns in reply before showers and poor light forced an early close, with the hosts on 39-1 and still 303 runs behind.

Warwickshire had resumed their first innings on 148-3 but the home side made an important breakthrough in the second over of the day as Jonathan Trott edged behind off Toby Roland-Jones.

But Evans, 41 not out overnight, continued to gradually amass runs and was ably supported in partnerships of 48 with Tim Ambrose and 33 with Rikki Clarke.

When Evans was bowled by Steven Finn (4-84) two short of his century, Warwickshire were 253-7 – but they went on to add a further 89 for the last three wickets.

The bulk of those runs came from Barker and Patel, who scored at almost five an over, before the latter fell lbw to Ollie Rayner.

Middlesex’s response got off to a bad start with Burns lbw to Chris Wright in the second over but Sam Robson (26 not out) and the more watchful Nick Compton (five not out) ensured no further damage before the weather closed in.

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