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  • Middlesex V Warwickshire

Middlesex vs Warwickshire

Match info: County Championship Division 1 at Lord's

Date: 3rd Sep 2014 Status: Day 4 of 4 Umpires: N G C Cowley and G D Lloyd

Home team and score Away team score

Middlesex

372/9 Dec (113.0 Overs)

Result

Warwickshire

362/8 Dec (103.0 Overs)
182/2 Dec (57.0 Overs)

Match Drawn

  • Last Updated: September 3 2014, 17:28 BST

Middlesex took a small step towards safety while Warwickshire's title hopes took a big hit as their LV= County Championship Division One match fizzled out into the dreariest of draws at Lord's.

Sam Hain: Helped himself to a century in tame draw
Sam Hain: Helped himself to a century in tame draw

A draw had looked inevitable from the moment since rain permitted just seven overs play on the second day and certainly at the start of the final day with the match still to enter its third innings.

The spectators' hopes that a contest might be manufactured were squashed when Middlesex decided to bat on. The home side finally declared on 372 for nine, taking a first-innings lead of 10, after which Warwickshire batted out the day, finishing on 182 for two.

It was a day's cricket which will be remembered by no-one - except for 19-year-old Warwickshire batsmen Sam Hain who scored a century (106 from 171 balls with 13 fours), albeit a pretty meaningless one, at the home of cricket.

But for the Bears as a team, there was bad news from the north where Yorkshire's victory means that Warwickshire trail them by 33 points in the First Division table with two games left.

Middlesex have some work still to do to ensure they stay up but reinforced their position with a solid 11-point haul from a draw.

The home side resumed on the last day on 310 for eight in a pursuit of at least one more batting point which they obtained by reaching 350 before the 110-over mark.

They lost James Harris, lbw to Rikki Clarke, along the way but Paul Stirling (48, 104 balls, seven fours) batted positively to ensure the fourth batting point was harvested.

As soon as it was, Stirling fell in spectacular fashion, his off-stump sent flying by the impressive Clarke. Tim Murtagh chipped Olly Hannon-Dalby into the covers to supply the Yorkshireman with a deserved second wicket before Middlesex declared to leave themselves 35 minutes bowling before lunch.

They used them well to preserve just a glimmer of hope of a spectacular victory charge. Captain Varun Chopra was feeling unwell so was unfit to open and in his absence the Bears stumbled to nine for two as Murtagh struck twice in four balls.

Ian Westwood edged an excellent ball to Dawid Malan at second slip then Jonathan Trott bagged a duck when he lifted his third ball to mid-off.

On a a pitch which had flattened out the longer the game went, though, Warwickshire eased away from trouble in the afternoon session. While William Porterfield (62 from 158 balls) dropped deep anchor, chugging along for the most part at one run per over, Hain was more expansive, reaching his half-century from 64 balls and completing his third first-class century just before the merciful shaking of hands.

Both sides were content to play out the final day without intensity - for different reasons. Middlesex banked important points from a draw to shore up their position above the Division One relegation zone while Warwickshire, their title bid effectively ended by Yorkshire's win elsewhere, conserved their energies for tomorrow's Royal London Cup semi-final against Kent.

Despite the stalemate at Lord's, Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown was content with the day's proceedings with his team's Royal London Cup semi-final against Kent in mind.

"Middlesex asked if we wanted to try to set something up," he said. "But with a big game tomorrow we didn't think spending 80 overs in the field was what we wanted.

"Also it would have been a very difficult equation to strike. It has been proven that teams can chase almost anything in the fourth innings at Lord's, even on fourth-day pitches - and this was a third-day pitch."