County let draw slip at rain-affected Lord’s

First published in WCCC

WORCESTERSHIRE captain Daryl Mitchell paid a high price for his enterprise as his side were shot out for 150 to give Middlesex a 132-run win in the LV= County Championship Division One clash at Lord’s.

At 45-2 in reply to Middlesex’s 327-7 declared, the New Road men were well placed to hold out for a draw after the third day of a game which was hit by rain and bad light.

An overnight declaration by Worcestershire and a Middlesex forfeiture produced a target of 283 which, although comfortable in terms of run rate, proved to be way beyond the visitors’ scope.

Worcestershire’s openers never looked comfortable and it was no great surprise when Michael Klinger perished in the ninth over to a clever piece of bowling from Tim Murtagh.

Murtagh struck again in his next over, Mitchell edging a perfectly pitched away swinger to Dawid Malan at second slip.

Worcestershire’s hopes rested squarely on their third-wicket pair of Vikram Solanki and Moeen Ali, and when they fell in successive overs, leaving the score on a precarious 35-4, Middlesex sensed victory.

Andrew Strauss accounted for both Solanki and Moeen to give Gareth Berg a wicket in his second over and Toby Roland-Jones one with his fifth ball.

Worcestershire’s run rate slipped below two-an-over, but James Cameron broke the shackles briefly with three crisply struck boundaries in a Berg over which cost 15 runs.

Following the departures of Matt Pardoe and Cameron, 93-7 became 96-8 when David Lucas edged Roland-Jones to Malan in the slips.

A stand of 54 in 12 overs between Aneesh Kapil and Richard Jones put a slightly cheerier complexion on Worcestershire’s score before Steven Finn dismissed the latter and also Alan Richardson.

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