Nottinghamshire’s LV= county championship match against Middlesex was again affected by the weather on the final day at Lord’s and petered out into a draw.
The home side extended their first innings to a score of 353-7 before play ended in the final hour as the home side declared having collected a fourth batting point.
Notts took a total of nine points from the fixture, something that Mick Newell wasn’t too unhappy about.
“One more bowling bonus point would have been nice,” he said. “But given how little cricket we’ve had, to go away with nine points for a draw leaves us reasonably happy.”
Only two sessions of play were possible, leaving anything other than a points exercise unworkable. “We thought about it overnight,” said the director of cricket. “Had there been a sunny day and the prospects of a full day then we may have been interested in leaving them something like 360 to get, if Middlesex had been interested. But the damp conditions and the wet ball meant that there was nothing doing really.”
The only concern for Notts was an injury, sustained by David Hussey. “He’s had two or three stitches in the webbing between a couple of fingers,” said Newell. “We’ll monitor it over the next 48 hours but we are hopeful he’ll be OK for Durham next week.”
After steady drizzle had wiped out the entire morning session Middlesex resumed their first innings, from 96-0, during the early afternoon.
A couple of twos took Chris Rogers to 71 not out, off Harry Gurney’s opening over, after the Middlesex duo had put on their third century stand of the season against Notts.
At Trent Bridge, in April, they combined with stands of 106 and then an unbroken 110. This time they sailed past those contributions in the 39th over of the innings.
Rogers, batting with real intent, looked to punish any width and gleefully lifted Gurney up over backward point for six to move to 87.
Each time the ball disappeared into the outfield necessitated a lengthy delay whilst it was dried, with the inclement conditions of the previous twenty four hours still having an effect.
Rogers’ 62nd career century (142 balls 11x4 1x6) came with a cut to the ropes after Luke Fletcher replaced Gurney and he celebrated by then pulling away for another majestic boundary.
The Australian had moved to 108 but then attempted to pull Andre Adams, only to succeed in ballooning the ball high to Fletcher at mid on.
Sam Robson (41) had been content to play second fiddle but swiftly followed his experienced partner back to the dressing room as he then nicked Adams through to Chris Read.
David Hussey had to leave the action fifteen minutes before tea, after getting one on the end of the finger, as Dawid Malan edged Gurney into the slip cordon.
Malan (15) fell in the final over before the interval, as Patel’s second ball of the day turned from the Pavilion End and knocked back his off pole.
Restarting, in increasingly gloomy conditions, Neil Dexter survived a huge lbw appeal first ball in Patel’s unfinished over.
Joe Denly guided Gurney away for three fours in a row to bring up his own fifty (70 balls 7x4), in an over which eventually went for 19.
Beginning to look dangerous, Denly then fell for 63, bowled by one that might have kept a touch low from Gurney.
The same bowler struck again to remove Dexter (9), taken at waist-height by Michael Lumb in the gully.
A stand of 42 for the sixth wicket was broken by a combination of Adams and the second new ball.
Gareth Berg (26) was squared up and a leading edge was taken low down in the bowler’s follow-through.
Ollie Rayner (2) became Adams’ fourth victim, a full and straight lbw decision but Notts weren’t able to push on for a third bowling point as John Simpson (51 not out) and James Harris (9 not out) saw the home side to their 350 target.
Notts now head north to face Durham in the championship on Tuesday, a match that could see the hosts clinch the title.
“We’ll need to play positively up there,” said Mick Newell. “There aren’t usually many draws at Durham, so we’ll need to be switched on to make sure we are on the right end of the result.”