MATCH DRAWN - Lancashire 513 all out; Middlesex 419-5
Rain prevented any play on day four in Middlesex’s Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Lancashire at Lord’s, and it was abandoned as a draw in mid-afternoon.
Middlesex were due to resume their first innings on 419 for 5 in reply to Lancashire’s 513, with Nick Gubbins on 201 not out and Paul Stirling unbeaten on 2, but the weather had the final say. Middlesex take 11 points, lifting them into third place in the first division, while top-of-the-table Lancashire increase their lead over second-placed Yorkshire by taking 9 points from this game. The match would almost certainly have ended in a draw even if there had been a full day’s play and Ashley Giles, Lancashire’s head coach, said: “That was the flattest wicket we have played on this year.
“We were heading for a draw here anyway and, overall, we’ve got something out of the match. We’ll move on and, with the division very bunched up due to all the weather-affected games we’ve had this season, it looks like being an exciting championship run-in.”
Richard Scott, Middlesex’s head coach, said: “It’s frustrating again to lose a day and a bit out of this game. We’ve had a lot of those this season. But we just have to take it and try again against Yorkshire at Scarborough in our next championship match.
“We are really pleased, though, at how we’ve played in the game and especially the way that both Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi batted yesterday. They epitomise the skill and spirit in the side at the moment.
“Stevie didn’t look at all out of place at No 3 and he’s earned his opportunity because of his performances in the Second XI. He will play again at Scarborough, and he will get a real belief that he can compete at first-class level from this innings. Let’s see if he can crack on from here.
“Nick looks the real deal and has been very consistent this summer in partnership with Sam Robson at the top of the order.
“The bowlers have been a bit frustrated with nicks not carrying on the pitches we’ve had at Lord’s, but they’ve stuck to their task and, in this game, they made Alviro Petersen work very hard for his big hundred. We then got maximum batting points when we batted in reply to their big total and also scored at four runs an over. It was a good team effort overall.”
Lancashire’s 19-year-old leg spinner Matt Parkinson, who took 5 for 49 on his first-class debut last week, against Warwickshire at Old Trafford, had a much tougher time with figures of 1 for 110 from his 26 overs in Middlesex’s innings.
Giles added: “It’s the first time Matt has ever played at Lord’s. To play here in his second first-class game is great experience for him and, on a flat pitch like this one, the margin for error is so much less.
“If he is to go on and play at the highest level – and I know he has aspirations to do so – then he’s got to learn how to bowl on flat surfaces like we’ve had in this game.”
Middlesex v Lancashire – day 4 – LUNCH
Lancashire 513 all out; Middlesex 419-5
Rain prevented any play before lunch on day four in Middlesex’s Specsavers County Championship Division One match against Lancashire at Lord’s.
Umpires Paul Baldwin and Nick Cook decided to take an early lunch, from 12.45pm, and to inspect conditions again afterwards.
Middlesex were due to resume their first innings on 419 for 5 in reply to Lancashire’s 513, with Nick Gubbins on 201 not out and Paul Stirling unbeaten on 2.
With the weather forecast poor for the rest of the day, however, and with the match seemingly a stalemate anyway, the overwhelming odds were on hands being shaken on a draw sometime in the afternoon.