County Championship: Middlesex secure comfortable draw with Lancashire

Jack Davies batting for Middlesex
Middlesex's Jack Davies faced 148 balls for his 65 not out

LV=County Championship Division One, Old Trafford (day four):

Middlesex 194: Robson 86; Bailey 3-38; L Wood 3-52 & 160-3: Davies 65*

Lancashire 413: Vilas 124, Wells 97, Bell 91; Yadav 5-131

Lancashire (12 pts) drew with Middlesex (8pts)


After three days in which they had been outplayed by Lancashire, Middlesex's batters comfortably secured the draw that sustains their hopes of avoiding relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

When the players eventually shook hands at 4.50pm on the Old Trafford outfield, the visitors were 160-3 with highly-rated Jack Davies unbeaten on 65, his maiden first-class fifty, and Stevie Eskinazi 26 not out.

In the first hour of play, Lancashire scored 71 runs for the loss of their last five wickets before being dismissed for 413 in their only innings of the match.

The first to go was George Balderson, caught behind by John Simpson off Ryan Higgins for 12, but three of the remaining four wickets were taken by off-spinner Jayant Yadav, who marked his Middlesex debut by taking 5-131.

The only disappointing dismissal from the home perspective was that of George Bell, who was stumped by Simpson off Jayant for a career-best 91, nine short of what would have been his maiden first-class century.

Otherwise, the emphasis was on Lancashire scoring quick runs prior to a declaration and Middlesex picking up two more bowling bonus points to help their battle against relegation.

Left with a first-innings deficit of 219 and 50 minutes to bat before lunch, Middlesex lost Sam Robson in the fifth over of their second innings when the opener failed to cope with Tom Bailey's bounce and edged a waist-high catch to Will Williams at third slip.

Undaunted, Mark Stoneman and Joe Cracknell took their side safely to the first interval.

Within an hour of the resumption, however, both batters were dismissed in almost identical fashion - lbw on the front foot to the left-arm spin of Tom Hartley.

The response of Davies and Eskinazi was to calmly reset the innings and take Middlesex to 105-3 at tea.

Lancashire made limited use of the Luke Wells' leg-spin and even gave Bailey an over of off-spin before the interval but to no avail.

The cricket after tea was the most desultory of the match. Davies and Eskinazi batted in untroubled fashion and it was no surprise when the players shook hands at the earliest opportunity.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.