Middlesex dig in to draw at Hampshire
PUBLISHED: 17:08 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:08 17 April 2017
Batsmen frustrate hosts to ensure honours are even
Middlesex got the defence of their Specsavers County Championship title off to a dogged start with a draw against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Starting the final day on 111-4, with only a 29-run lead over the home side, the visitors produced a determined display with the bat to frustrate their rivals before the two captains shook hands at 5pm.
Nightwatchman Steven Finn fell to Brad Wheal with the total on 138, but John Simpson helped Adam Voges add another 75 runs for the sixth wicket to hold up Hampshire.
But Australian Voges fell to Kyle Abbott eight runs short of a century, having batted for three hours and 40 minutes, and Middlesex saw James Franklin and Simpson follow in quick succession, to Abbott and Gareth Berg respectively, to find themselves 215-8.
That meant a lead of only 133, with plenty of time still to play, but Toby Roland-Jones and Ollie Rayner held firm for almost 10 more overs to hold up the Hampshire charge.
Roland-Jones fell for 25, but Rayner was then joined by Tim Murtagh in another 17 overs of defiance that helped edge the Middlesex total up to 278-9.
Rayner was unbeaten on 17, from 63 balls faced, after 111 minutes at the crease and last man Murtagh was 19 not out from 56 deliveries, having batted for just over an hour.
Both sides took 10 points each from the draw and Middlesex will now prepare for the visit of Essex to Lord’s for their next match on Friday.