LV County Championship - Division Two
Derbyshire 401-5 dec (W L Madsen 167, G M Smith 62) & 281-2 dec (C J L Rogers 112 no, W L Madsen 89) v Middlesex 353-9 dec (N R D Compton 178, G K Berg 70, P S Jones 4-69) & 259-9 (A B London 65, D J Malan 52, G M Smith 5-65)
Middlesex (9pts) drew with Derbyshire (12pts)
Middlesex put a dent in Derbyshire's LV County Championship promotion hopes by hanging on for a draw at Uxbridge.
Injured batsman Adam London and ninth-wicket partner Tim Murtagh had to survive 21 overs to help salvage four more points which may prove invaluable in the hosts' attempt to avoid finishing bottom of the table for the first time in their 145-year history.
Despite a career-best five wickets for 65 runs from off-spinner Greg Smith, Derbyshire were left frustrated at the end of a brave attempt to clinch the victory they badly needed in their bid to go up.
They made a bold declaration at 281-2 to set Middlesex a target of 330 to win off a minimum of 75 overs and their gamble looked to have paid when a middle-order collapse left the home side struggling on 206 for eight.
Tim Groenewald was the first to strike with the first ball after lunch to get Nick Compton lbw and he then followed that by bowling Dan Housego to make it 59 for two.
Dawid Malan and Neil Dexter then put on a third-wicket partnership of 76 in 18 overs, but when Dexter was bowled by Garry Park at 135 for three, the game swung Derbyshire's way.
Smith ripped through the Middlesex middle order with four wickets in successive overs on either side of the tea interval, as John Simpson got caught on the back foot and was lbw for one, then Gareth Berg aimed a big drive at the off-spinner in the final over before tea and was bowled for nought.
The tumble of wickets continued after the break, as Malan's resistance ended when he was caught by wicketkeeper Jamie Pipe sweeping for 52.
When Udal had his off-stump knocked over, Smith had taken four for six in 21 balls and Middlesex had lost five wickets for 14 runs.
London and Murali Kartik stemmed the flow with a stand of 57 in 13 overs but from the first ball of leg-spinner Mark Lawson's third spell, Kartik top-edged a sweep and was easily caught at slip.
But 20-year-old London, who broke and dislocated the little finger on his right hand in the field on the second day, made a dogged 65 before he was dismissed with 16 balls remaining.
And Murtagh, who faced 88 balls for his 18 not out, kept his nerve as Middlesex held out at 259 for nine.
Promotion chasers Derbyshire will take a lead of 244 runs into the final day of their LV County Championship Division Two fixture against Middlesex at Uxbridge.
Wayne Madsen and Chris Rogers shared an opening stand of 181 to help Derbyshire reach 196-2 in their second innings at stumps on day three.
Madsen, who made 167 in the first innings, was dismissed by Middlesex skipper Shaun Udal for 89 but Rogers remained unbeaten on 75 at the close.
Middlesex had earlier extended their first innings from 75-2 to 353-9 declared with opener Nick Compton hitting a magnificent 178.
Compton, on 45 overnight, struck 19 fours and two sixes in his 247-ball knock and his departure, bowled by Tom Groenewald 12 short of his career-best score, prompted the declaration from Udal.
Derbyshire currently sit fifth in the Division Two table and, realistically, require victory on the final day to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Wayne Madsen's 167 helped Derbyshire make up for lost time after only 22 overs of play had been possible on day one at Uxbridge.
The opener's third century of the season enabled his side to reach 401-5 before declaring shortly aftet tea. Rock-bottom Middlesex replied with 75-2 by the close of day two.
Playing only his eighth LV County Championship match for the county, Madsen smashed 18 fours and two sixes in his 237 ball knock, eventually falling just three short of his career-best score.
However he was twice let off the hook by the hosts, who dropped the right-hander on 87 having earlier dismissed him off what turned out to be a no-ball from spinner Murali Kartik.
Greg Smith weighed in with 62 before wicketkeeper James Pipe's unbeaten 38 off just 20 balls helped Derbyshire race to maximum batting points.
Already without opener Adam London after he fractured and dislocated the little finger on his right hand whilst fielding, Middlesex lost Dan Housego for just four at the start of their reply.
Nick Compton (42 not out) helped put on 66 with Dawid Malan but the partnership was broken just before the end when the latter was run out for 21.
Heavy rain ensured there was little play on the opening day of Middlesex's final LV County Championship Division Two match of the season against Derbyshire.
Middlesex headed into the contest at Uxbridge knowing they needed a win to have any chance of avoiding finishing bottom of the Championship for the first time in their 145-year history.
Meanwhile, visitors Derbyshire are also chasing victory to keep alive their promotion hopes.
However, as it was rain was the only real winner on day one as Derbyshire reached 72-1 before the weather took centre stage.
The only wicket to fall was that of Derbyshire skipper Chris Rogers who made 25 before being caught behind off Tim Murtagh.
That wicket fell in the 15th over, but showers throughout the day ensured play was called off at 4pm.