Glamorgan pair frustrate Middlesex
Glamorgan 157 and 178 for 4 drew with Middlesex 302 for 8 dec
Chris Rogers scored his fourth century of the season but promotion hopefuls Middlesex had to settle for a draw on the final day of their rain-affected Division Two match against Glamorgan at Cardiff.
Rogers made 121 as Middlesex declared their first innings on 302 for 8 - a first-innings lead of 145 - with Will Owen taking 5 for 124. But Glamorgan's fifth-wicket pair of Mark Wallace and Stewart Walters ensured their side batted out for a draw and when stumps were drawn they had made 178 for 4 - a lead of 33. Middlesex took nine points from the game to Glamorgan's five.
Middlesex began the day with a slender lead of 12 runs, knowing that a victory would seal both promotion into Division One as well as the Division Two title, and all in a contest which had seen the loss of 198 overs on the first three days. Middlesex resumed on 169 for 4 and went on the hunt for quick runs as Rogers completed his century from 121 balls with 12 fours.
As the fifth-wicket partnership developed John Simpson went to his 50 from 80 balls. But Owen made his first breakthrough to grab the prized wicket of Rogers, who edged a short rising delivery behind. It ended a stand worth 145 in 27.2 overs.
Wallace, who was captaining Glamorgan in the absence of an unwell Alviro Petersen, took his second catch to dismiss Gareth Berg, who edged an attempted cut off Owen. Simpson looked on course for a century after swatting Owen for six into the grandstand but next ball the bowler got his revenge by bowling the Middlesex wicketkeeper for 95.
Owen sealed his maiden championship five-wicket haul when he had Steven Crook caught at deep backward square. Tim Murtagh brought up the Middlesex 300, whereupon they declared after 90 minutes' batting during which they added 133 runs in 20 overs.
With Petersen still indisposed, Nick James opened with Gareth Rees and the pair saw Glamorgan safely to lunch. But after the interval Rees edged Gareth Berg to third slip. Will Bragg needed 26 to become the first Glamorgan batsman to 1,000 runs but he could only manage four before being caught in the gully off Steven Crook.
James had done a good job in deputising as opener but a run short of his maiden half-century he was undone by Ollie Raynor's spin, trapped leg before. Glamorgan reached three figures shortly before tea but in the final over before the interval Jim Allenby edged a rising delivery from Murtagh behind.
But any chance of a Middlesex win was dashed by an unbeaten 70-run partnership between Wallace and Walters. In the process Wallace passed Jimmy Stone's club record of 959 runs - the highest made by a specialist wicketkeeper in a season in first-class cricket for Glamorgan.
The result leaves Middlesex 12 points clear at the division's summit, with Northamptonshire, Surrey and Gloucestershire able to overhaul them in a fascinatingly poised final round of matches.