Middlesex v Warwickshire, Uxbridge, 4th day

Ambrose grits it out on Uxbridge turner

July 11, 2013

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Warwickshire 486 for 6 dec. (Chopra 228*) and 111 for 5 beat Middlesex 309 (Voges 150, Barker 4-47) and 286 (Voges 51) by five wickets
Scorecard


Tim Ambrose steadied Warwickshire with a half-century, Warwickshire v Durham, County Championship, Division One, Edgbaston, 3rd day, April 19, 2013
Tim Ambrose saw Warwickshire home in a nervy chase © Getty Images
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A gritty 47 from Tim Ambrose on a turning Uxbridge pitch led to a maximum points victory but Warwickshire were made to work hard for their five-wicket win over Middlesex.

Ambrose dug in for 91 minutes and hit six fours only to succumb with Warwickshire 12 short of the winning line as the visitors overcame a case of the last-gasp jitters to secure victory.

With two sessions of the match remaining in which to score the 110 required for only their second success of the campaign, Warwickshire soon realised they had a fight on their hands after losing two wickets within 21 balls.

With little option but for all-out attack, Middlesex opened with offspinner Ollie Rayner from the Gatting Way End a ploy that quickly reduced the Bears to 5 for 2. First innings double-century maker Varun Chopra chipped Rayner's fourth delivery to short midwicket then Laurie Evans advanced to drive only to pick out Neil Dexter at mid-on.

In an attritional period of play, Middlesex turned to spin at both ends for half-an-hour but it was the re-introduction of Corey Collymore that led to Ian Westwood's demise when he feathered to Adam Voges at third slip. Ateeq Javid and Ambrose added a useful 33 inside 15 overs before Javid nicked a Gareth Berg leg-cutter to the keeper to leave Warwickshire on 77 for 4 at tea - still 33 shy of their target.

Ambrose fell just before the end, caught off inside edge and then pad to a catch at silly point when trying to flick to leg but Rikki Clarke marched in to win it in style with a brace of boundaries.

At the start of the final day Voges continued his role as the major thorn in the Warwickshire side as the Australian once again showed most resolve and offered the hosts their main chance of saving the game. Making his first-class debut for the county, Voges followed his first innings 150 with a patient yet stylish 88-ball 50, but, as with the Middlesex first innings, wickets continued to fall at the other end.

Toby Roland-Jones propped forward to Jeetan Patel to proffer a bat-pad catch to Chopra at silly point then Berg was caught behind off the same bowler when looking to cut one that popped off the surface.

Voges' resistance ended four balls after his 50 when, in aiming to push drive straight against Woakes, he chipped a return catch to the bowler. Rayner gave Patel a third scalp when he aimed to sweep only to balloon a bat-pad catch to Clarke running back from slip toward fine leg.

The last-wicket pair at least made Warwickshire play extra time but, 10 minutes after the scheduled start to the lunch break, Ravi Patel nicked an attempted drive through to the keeper as Middlesex were dismissed for 286.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (July 12, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

Middlesex have now scored just 22 points in their last 4 games, 10 of those in the drawn game against Sussex and have one win and two defeats in their last seven Championship games. It is not exactly the form that you expect of a Championship contender.

The gap to Sussex and, more importantly, Durham, who have played the same number of games, is getting alarming. Before this game Middlesex were equidistant between the top of the table and relegation: now they are 39 points from the top and 27 from relegation (before it was 28 & 29 respectively), so they are actually slipping slowly closer to the drop. With 7 games left the Championship is not impossible, but it will take a run of probably three wins in the next four matches to make it a reality.

In this game, without the 201 runs from Adam Voges Middlesex would have lost in well under three days. That they went so close to winning the match was remarkable, but the end result was still a defeat and that is what counts in the table.

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