MATCH DRAWN

Only 14 balls were bowled on the fourth day of Durham's Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at Emirates Riverside.

It was the first action since play was halted by snow after one ball of the penultimate over on Monday and off the five remaining balls of Toby Roland-Jones's over Durham scampered five singles.

That took them to a third batting point on 300 for four and with rain not far away they knew they were unlikely to gain any more.

In Roland-Jones's next over there was just time for Michael Richardson to clip him through mid-wicket for four before the rain arrived, quickly turning to sleet.

It lasted only ten minutes, but umpires Ian Gould and Graham Lloyd showed little appetite for a resumption. Nor had they seemed keen in the morning, when the weather was fine but still bitterly cold.

After inspections at 11am and noon they announced, if there was no rain, play would begin at 1.40, which it duly did.

Mark Stoneman remained unbeaten on 141 with Richardson on 39. Durham closed on 305 for four in reply to 389, giving the hosts a 6-5 bonus points advantage.

Durham skipper Paul Collingwood said: “It's disappointing, but they are two experienced umpires who have been around a long time. They looked at the action areas and said it was too greasy. In this sort of weather the ground doesn't dry. It's frustrating, but they have the last word.”

Middlesex skipper Adam Voges said: “This has been a shock to the system for me because I've never actually seen snow before.

“We put a satisfactory total on the board but no-one went on, then our first ten overs with the ball were disappointing. We have played some good cricket, but we need to do it for longer periods of time.”

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Day 4 Lunch

There was no play before lunch on the final day of Durham's match against Middlesex at Emirates Riverside.

The weather was fine but after inspections at 11am and noon the umpires decided to look again during lunch with a view to starting at 1.40. Meanwhile clouds were building and the groundstaff brought out extra sheeting.

If there is any play it can be no more than an exercise in collecting bonus points. Durham are 295 for four in reply to 389.

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