Goucestershire opt for draw

Gladiators refuse to set Middlesex target

Last Updated: 30/06/11 7:23pm

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Cockbain: full of runs during the drawn contest

Cockbain: full of runs during the drawn contest

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Gloucestershire opted to play out their Division Two clash against Middlesex for a draw, leading to a tedious final day at Uxbridge.

Despite wrapping up Middlesex's first innings for 325 inside the first hour, securing a 134 run lead, Gloucestershire refused to set their hosts a target, choosing instead to bat through to the close, much to the displeasure of the small crowd that had turned up to watch.

An outside chance of a win would have catapulted the visitors above their opponents and into second place but they closed the day 229-8, meaning they take 11 points from the game to Middlesex's eight.

Middlesex resumed on 283-7, needing 27 runs to avoid the follow-on. Chris Rogers and Anthony Ireland ensured the hosts would not be asked to bat again, though, following the early loss of Tim Murtagh.

Rogers's 263 ball, six-hour effort at the crease eventually came to an end when he fell to David Payne for 148, including two sixes and 17 fours, and Payne then bowled Ireland (16) to bring the innings to an end.

Gloucestershire slumped to 65-4 in their second innings following the early losses of Hamish Marshall (9), Chris Dent (19), Chris Taylor (8) and Ian Cockbain (8).

But Richard Coughtrie went on to make 40, with Kane Williamson (73) adding 94 for the fifth wicket. Even Andrew Strauss bowled an over of his left-arm slow-medium to relieve the boredom during a dull final session.

Day three

England Test captain Andrew Strauss fell cheaply when he finally got to have a bat on the third day of Middlesex's rain-affected LV County Championship fixture against Gloucestershire at Uxbridge.

Strauss, short of runs this summer and looking to regain form ahead of England's Test series with India, went lbw to Jon Lewis for two in the first over of Middlesex's reply to their visitors' first-innings effort of 459-9 declared.

Middlesex prospered after Strauss' early exit, Australian batsman Chris Rogers leading the way with his 47th first-class century.

The left-hander was unbeaten on 125 from 230 balls at stumps in a Middlesex total of 283-7, still 176 behind.

He received solid support from Scott Newman (23), Neil Dexter (41) and John Simpson (23) but three wickets went down late on to keep Gloucestershire's hopes of forcing a victory alive heading into the final day.

In the morning, Gloucestershire had resumed their first innings at 402-7 and batted on for 10.5 overs, Iain Cockbain - on 121 overnight - soon falling for 127.

Lewis' departure for 71, bowled by Corey Collymore (4-80), prompted a declaration.

Day two

A combination of rain and bad light meant only 10.1 overs were possible on the second day of the game between Middlesex and Gloucestershire.

There were three brief sessions at Uxbridge, two before lunch with the other coming after tea, which allowed Gloucestershire enough time to claim maximum batting points.

Ian Cockbain, who had reached his maiden first-class ton on Monday, moved on to 121 not out, as the visitors reached 402-7.

The batsman has so far faced 221 balls and hit 15 fours and a six, putting on an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 72 with Jon Lewis, who is on 41 not out.

The issues with the weather mean England Test captain Andrew Strauss is still waiting for the opportunity to play himself back into form.

The left-hander has scored two centuries for Middlesex this season - including 103 in an LV County Championship game against Glamorgan at Lord's - but made only 27 runs in four innings in the Test series against Sri Lanka.

Day one

Ian Cockbain hit his maiden first-class century to help Gloucestershire end day one against Middlesex on 368-7 at Uxbridge.

The batsman was only included in the team due to an injury to captain Alex Gidman but made the most of his opportunity, striking one six and 13 fours, as he reached the close on 103 not out.

Cockbain put on a 112-run stand for the sixth wicket in 27 overs with Will Gidman, who made 52, after Gloucestershire had suffered a collapse.

Chris Dent (61) and Chris Taylor (52) added 86 for the third wicket but the visitors slipped from 138-2 to 183-5 by the middle of the afternoon session.

The situation could have been even worse had Andrew Strauss not dropped Cockbain at first slip when he had just eight to his name - the England captain had also earlier spilled a chance to remove Dent for 26.

The misses proved costly as Gloucestershire battled back to take the honours at the end of the day; Jon Lewis weighed in with an unbeaten 25 as Middlesex failed to make the most of the second new ball.

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