Middlesex v Surrey, Lord's, 4th day May 5, 2013

Rogers double century wows selectors

Vithushan Ehantharajah at Lord's

Surrey 338 (Burns 114, Murtagh 3-54) and 85 for 1 drew with Middlesex 166 (de Bruyn 3-32) and 514 for 8 dec. (Rogers 214, Robson 129)

A day that could have provided a potential nail-bitter petered out into a draw but not before Middlesex captain Chris Rogers wowed the crowd as he scored a double century of contrasting batsmanship.

Beginning the day on 113 not out, he reached his ninth double century of his career with some astonishing hitting that would have John Inverarity sitting back in his chair with a quiet, yet visible satisfaction.

"Mickey Arthur sent me a text last night saying 'well batted - save some runs for the summer'," a content Rogers revealed, Fosters can in hand. While you might question his drink of choice - Corey Collymore had a pint of stout - there's no questioning the wisdom in Australia plumping for an opening batsmen more comfortable in his own skin than many. That being said, he did make a run back to the dressing room for a cap when he was needed on camera.

"I'm in a good place and my game feels in pretty good order," he told ESPNcricinfo. "But to be fair, the pitch was pretty flat when we were asked to bat on it again. Maybe we were lucky in that respect but you've still got to make things count."

As it stands he averages over 50 in first-class games at three of the five venues that England and Australia will frequent later this summer. But even the familiarity, especially here on what has been his home since 2011, is much ado about nothing.

"It's a nice thing to have that familiarity with the grounds but it'll mean nothing in the Ashes," Rogers said. "Mostly because I'll have a whole new set of nerves; I've been waiting for the opportunity to play Test cricket again for so long that now it's just a case of taking it. I've got to be honest, it's a chance I never thought I'd have again."

It was a quite astonishing climb to 200 from his starting point this morning. The remaining 69 runs came off just 53 balls and featured 11 boundaries. The hundred partnership he shared with Dawid Malan, who made 47, took 76 balls and looked like it might afford Middlesex enough time and runs to go all out to take 10 Surrey wickets.

Having left the short ball yesterday, Rogers started taking them on, even against Dernbach, whose skiddier bouncers had Rogers twice ducking for cover. When he dispatched Tim Linley for six over square leg - the first maximum of the match - it took him to 175 and past his previous highest score for Middlesex. Another six, this time of Zander de Bruyn, took him to 194 before he went on to bring up his double ton.

Starting, essentially, at 111 for 2 this morning, Middlesex lost Steven Finn, though not before the newly fashioned nightwatchman had driven Jade Dernbach quite lavishly through the offside. Dawid Malan strode to the crease and, together with Rogers, ticked the score over; picking up singles with regularity, before something within Rogers stirred.

But when Rogers, Malan and Paul Stirling, for 1 after his first innings golden duck, went before lunch, so did the idea that Middlesex would give Surrey any kind of carrot to chase. Rogers admitted the thought of giving Surrey even a whiff of victory was something he wouldn't entertain.

Post lunch was an odd mish-mash of prodding, swiping and the occasional planting of Vikram Solanki into the grandstand. After a bit of early meandering, Dexter freed his arms to hit the Solanki - whose three overs cost him 34 runs - for three sixes in an over. The first brought up Dexter's half-century; the second took Middlesex past 500.

When Dexter and then Roland-Jones holed out, in a seven ball period that saw Rory Burns and Arun Harinath claim their maiden first class wickets, Rogers called his side in on 514 for 8 - Middlesex's highest score against Surrey at Lord's.

With Surrey 85 for 1, Malan and Stirling bowling in tandem to recalibrate Middlesex's over rate to avoid a penalty, Rogers and Smith - unbeaten on 48 - declared that was that.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mariam on May 7, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    @Amith good comments, i like your top 6 but its all on who scores in the games leading up to the first test.

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    @ Ducky610

    Had to comment simply because that is my preferred line-up to a T given the squad going to England, and for all the same reasons for Watson, Warner and Khawaja to come in when they do! I think that Warner will be especially dangerous at #4 using his natural aggression to go after the ball when it doesn't do as much. I like Cowan's starts and he has been a consistent player for the past couple of years but he just doesn't go on and is becoming a liability.

  • Daniel on May 7, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Unfortunatly I dont think they will drop Cowan... I've paid close attention to him in the county matchs and its exactly the same case as in tests, he makes good starts promising to score big and then goes out.... I'd like to see

    1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Hughes 4. Warner 5. Clarke. 6. Khawaja...

    Simply because if Watson is going to come back it will be opening... Warner at 4 because thats where stroke players (ie. Pieterson, Martyn, Mark Waugh) usually thrive and I'd love to see Warner have a go there. And Khawaja at 6 to play the Mike Hussey role since there is no chance of him coming back However it will most likely be:

    1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Hughes 4. Watson 5. Clarke 6. Rogers

  • Andrew on May 6, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    @Chris_P on (May 6, 2013, 0:43 GMT) - a couple of things 1) I think Inverarity should be applauded for doing what Hilditch stubbornly refused to do, 2) Send ROgers a case of real beer! Fosters? Who drinks that? @ VillageBlacksmith on (May 6, 2013, 8:09 GMT) - thankfully it is only Arthurs + DiVenuto, (Langar is WA coach). @Batmanian on (May 6, 2013, 13:07 GMT) - Warner has next to zero experience in the middle order, it MAY be the place for him to bat, but after trialling in the Shield (IMO). Until then, he has to be an opener again - IMO!

  • Hamish on May 6, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    @lyndon, i love patto, but i was purely talking about the at home series against India, not anything else!

  • Pete on May 6, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Aus A games certainly looming large... Rogers will be hard-pressed not to make it now. I would prefer Watson to open (I don't see any point in selecting him elsewhere). Watson, Rogers, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Harris (if fit/otherwise Starc), Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon seems plausible.

    Watson, Cowan, Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Khawaja is another option if they insist on retaining Cowan. I'm confident Khawaja will get another chance because he is POTENTIALLY a non-streaky batsman in a team with a few too many (he is of course ACTUALLY a flaky player, but can grow out of that with a bit of application).

  • Lewis on May 6, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @Amith I think its guaranted that Watson will play.It will be Cowan, Hughes or Khawaja who may miss out if we go for Rogers. If the selectors are serious, Hughes should be the one to miss out. My prediction is that Khawaja and Haddin will score big in the Aus A games. But as few of your have pointed out there's along time between now and 1st Test. An Australia A tour and a couple of warm up games and whoever scores high in the lead up games will get their spots. It's there positions to be grabbed!

  • Rahul on May 6, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    Good work Rogers, a lineup of Rogers, Warner, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Watson looking good for the first test.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @mitty 2.."and patto showed his potential"

    Patto may have showed his potential in Australia in that series but he showed himself to be a true champion in Chennai with his 5/96. To get penetration on that wicket when everyone else struggled was extroadinary. Imagine a similar such effort on an English greentop. You'ld halve the number of runs scored and almost double the number of wickets with maybe a couple of Englishman retired hurt!

  • Tim on May 6, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    One congratulatory text and the selectors are wowed? Strange headline but still well done by Rogers. For years he's seemed to be out of form at all the crucial times. Shows that sometimes the selectors need to throw form out the window when selecting solid pros like Rogers. Select them early, take that anxiety away and they start performing above and beyond what we've seen before.