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Gloucs vs Middlesex

Last pair frustrate Middlesex

Gloucestershire force unlikely stalemate

Ireland: Batting hero

LV County Championship - Division Two
Bristol - Day Four
Middlesex 300-7 dec (E J G Morgan 137 no, B J M Scott 83) & 212-4 dec (E C Joyce 86 no, O A Shah 65) v Gloucestershire 189 (S D Snell 65 no, D Evans 5-54) & 174-9
Gloucestershire (6pts) drew with Middlesex (10pts)

Anthony Ireland (16 not out) and Ian Saxelby (11 not out) defied Middlesex for 22 overs to earn Gloucestershire an unlikely draw at Bristol.

The hosts had slumped to 147-9 chasing 324 to win but Ireland survived 91 balls and 19-year-old trialist Saxelby 67 of his own in a nail-biting finish.

The visitors eventually closed their second innings at 12.25pm on 212 for four with Ed Joyce 86 not out and Owais Shah contributing 65. The pair added 90 in 14 overs before Shah was caught behind off Jon Lewis.

Gloucestershire were left 324 to win in a minimum of 72 overs, but the Middlesex seamers ensured that was never likely with Tim Murtagh returning three for 33, Alan Richardson three for 34 and Steve Finn two for 27.

They lost Will Porterfield before lunch and the afternoon session brought the wickets of Hamish Marshall, Kadeer Ali, Marcus North and Chris Taylor for the addition of 89 runs.

Murtagh claimed three of those wickets and when Alex Gidman fell lbw to Finn, playing across the line with the total 115 for six.

Lewis was caught behind fending at Richardson and first innings hero Steve Snell edged a leg side catch to acrobatic wicketkeeper Ben Scott.

Joyce was forced to turn to his slow bowlers in the final hour with the light fading but Murali Karthik swiftly removed Steve Kirby to expose the final pair, but Ireland and Saxelby hung on to force a stalemate.

Day Three

An eight wicket haul by young seamers Danny Evans and Steve Finn saw Middlesex take Gloucestershire to the brink on the third day at Bristol.

Evans took five for 54 and Finn three for 34 as the hosts, chasing 300 for seven declared, managed just 189.

It was only a half-century by Steve Snell, who finished unbeaten on 65, that prevented an embarrassing follow-on.

Earlier, Middlesex had claimed a third batting point as Eoin Morgan added 18 to their overnight first-innings total to finish unbeaten on 137.

And by the close of play the visitors had scored 86 for two to extend their lead to 197.

Day Two

Eoin Morgan finally struck his maiden century in the LV County Championship to help Middlesex battle back on day two at Bristol.

The Irishman had been been dismissed in the 90s in his side's previous two four-day fixtures and only reached three figures thanks to a risky single that could have seen him run out with a direct hit.

However, he managed to survive and reached the close of play on 128 not out, helping the visitors reach 282-6 after Gloucestershire had reduced them to 73-4.

Ben Scott provided excellent support in a crucial stand of 172 for the fifth wicket, the pair batting together for 65.2 overs to repair the damage done on day one.

The wicketkeeper-batsman looked untroubled in reaching 83 but with a second ton of the campaign in sight, was caught behind off bat and pad off the bowling of occasional off-spinner Chris Taylor.

The only other wicket to fall in the day went to Gloucestershire's young trialist Ian Saxelby, the seamer getting Tim Murtagh caught for 10.

Day One

Gloucestershire managed to battle the weather to get on top during their brief first day's action against Middlesex at Bristol.

Only 33.5 overs were bowled and play did not start until 4pm but there was enough time for Gloucestershire to reduce the visitors to 73-4 after inserting them in some overcast conditions.

Skipper Jon Lewis took two wickets while Steve Kirby and Anthony Ireland bagged the other two leaving the hosts in charge heading into the second day.

Middlesex endured a nightmare start when Billy Godleman went for a 14-ball duck after being trapped lbw by Lewis with the scoreboard still untroubled.

Kirby dismissed Dawid Malan before Lewis got rid of Ed Joyce for 13 and Middlesex slumped to 46-3 and in deep trouble.

Ireland got the important wicket of England hopeful Owais Shah for 15 before play was ended early due to bad light.

Match Details

11th Jul 2008
County Ground, Bristol
M J Harris and V A Holder


Batsman R
Ali b Murtagh 32
Porterfield lbw b Richardson 5
Marshall c Kartik b Richardson 11
North c Kartik b Murtagh 21
Gidman lbw b Finn 19
Taylor c Murtagh 13
Snell c Scott b Finn 25
Lewis c Scott b Richardson 0
Kirby c Scott b Kartik 12
Ireland not out 16
Saxelby not out 11
Extras 2nb, 7lb 9
Total 76.0 Overs 174 - 9
Full Batting Card

middlesex BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Richardson 17 4 34 3
Murtagh 14 3 33 3
Kartik 21 9 29 1
Evans 11 1 40 0
Finn 7 1 27 2
Malan 6 5 4 0
Full Bowling Card