Weather hampers Middlesex bid for victory


Middlesex 467-3 dec: Voges 160*
Hampshire 131 & 100-4: Adams 47*; Murtagh 2-17
Hampshire trail Middlesex by 274 runs 

Just 17 overs of play were possible on the third day of Middlesex’s Championship match with Hampshire at Merchant Taylor’s School due to a combination of rain and bad light.

The first two sessions were completely washed out, with play only getting underway at 4pm. A little over an hour later, the players were off again, with the light having worsened.

Middlesex did find time to take one of the seven Hampshire wickets they require for victory, with Liam Dawson gloving a lifter from Tim Murtagh to gully, where Sam Robson took a fine low catch.

Hampshire’s Jimmy Adams weathered a testing spell from Murtagh and James Franklin – the only seamers available to Middlesex with Toby Roland-Jones and James Fuller too quick for the light – and looked in good touch in moving to 48.

Adams played some fine drives off the seamers and cuts off spinners Ollie Rayner and Paul Stirling as the light deteriorated, men gathered round the bat and the ball began to spit.

He was joined by debutant Joe Weatherley, who battled to reach four from 36 deliveries before the players left the field with Hampshire 100-4.

Middlesex return on Wednesday, when more inclement weather is forecast after lunch, requiring six more wickets for their first win of the season after an utterly dominant first two days.

Centuries for Dawid Malan, Adam Voges and John Simpson set up a total of 467-3 declared, before outstanding bowling from Murtagh and Roland-Jones, who shared eight first innings wickets, saw Hampshire bowled out for 131, before closing the third day 64-3.