For the third time in his career England captain Andrew Strauss posted a three figure score against Nottinghamshire’s bowlers to hold up the visitor’s victory charge.

Strauss made an unbeaten 127 on the third day of the LV= County Championship match at Uxbridge to steer Middlesex to a second innings score of 239-2 and an overall advantage of 8. Rain halted play at tea-time for the second successive day.

It was tough going for the Notts attack on a surface that wasn’t as responsive as earlier in the match. Strauss was in imperious form, as coach Wayne Noon confirmed.

“The England captain played pretty well today but I felt we stuck at it well until the weather set in,” he said.

“Matches sometimes go like this when you have a really good first day and bowl a side out for less than a hundred but this is the type of wicket that Uxbridge have produced over the years.

 “For the first session our bowlers deserve every credit and then Strauss played really well through the afternoon but they are only eight ahead and the second new ball is only ten overs away. I’d rather be in our position than theirs and we are still confident that we can come back tomorrow and finish them off.”  

Strauss had only made a single when he survived a very confident lbw shout against the bowling of Harry Gurney early on.

His partner had a couple of scares of his own. Sam Robson came a long way down after Strauss had clipped the ball to James Taylor at square leg and the throw would have beaten his desperate attempt to reach safety, had it hit.

Shortly afterwards, whilst still on 7, he edged Ben Phillips to second slip where the normally-reliable Adam Voges was unable to cling on to the sharp offering.

The opening stand had made it to 55 when Notts deservedly struck, as Andy Carter found the edge of Robson’s (26) bat and Chris Read did the rest.

Chris Rogers helped the England captain through to lunch at 107-1, with Strauss having completed his second half century of the contest from 91 deliveries.

As on the previous day runs came quickly after the resumption, with Strauss hitting three boundaries in Phillips’ first over back.

Rogers (59) was equally impressive and advanced to his own fifty from 82 balls. He added nine more before falling leg before to Harry Gurney, after a stand of 143.

Strauss used his feet to lift Samit Patel over the media tent for a six and arrived at his century from 157 balls faced (12x4 1x6).

The left-hander may have had a life on 112 as he appeared to be put down by Voges from the same bowler but he then saw his side take an overall lead just before tea.

At almost exactly the same time as on the second day the leaden skies began to leak their contents and it wasn’t too long before the umpires decided that play would be abandoned for the day.