County Championship round-up

Middlesex battle to vital draw

Cricinfo staff

September 2, 2005

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Division One

Points Table

Jason Gallian and Russell Warren powered Nottinghamshire to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory at Sophia Gardens. Needing a testing 176 for victory after Glamorgan were bowled out for 307 in the morning session, Gallian added 51 for the first wicket with Darren Bicknell, before Warren joined him for a second-wicket stand of 95. Robert Croft eventually ended Gallian's stay on 70, but by then the victory was in the bag.

Ed Joyce guided Middlesex to a vital draw against Gloucestershire in their battle against relegation. Middlesex and Surrey are both trying to avoid the final place in the drop zone. Joyce fought hard for three hours and was well supported by Ben Hutton who faced 155 balls for his 43. Middlesex were never in the hunt for their target of 324 after the early loss of Ed Smith to Jon Lewis. Malinga Bandara and Martyn Ball did the bulk of the bowling but couldn't find enough help from the series. Gloucestershire's second innings was extended by a useful half-century from Mark Hardinges, which was then wrapped up by Stuart Clark and Melvyn Betts.

Division Two

Points Table

Derbyshire failed to register their first Championship with since 2003 by just three runs against Durham after being set 280 to win. Steve Stubbings anchored the innings with 101 from 180 balls, but the middle order fell away and Derbyshire lost precious momentum. They were given a great start as Stubbings and Michael di Venuto added 91 but Durham's bowlers kept their composure at the end of the innings. Luke Sutton tried to marshal Derbyshire home but his 36 off 43 balls came too late. Durham had earlier declared with Dale Benkenstein unbeaten on 162.

Lancashire's promotion bid took something of a nosedive, as they were spun to defeat by a hefty 285 runs at Wantage Road. On a minefield of a wicket, Lancashire were never likely to come close to the 389 they needed for victory, but they might have hoped to survive rather longer than 47 overs. Instead, Northamptonshire's spin twins, Monty Panesar and Jason Brown, shared eight wickets between them, with Brown securing the bragging rights with 5 for 22 from 16 overs. The only Lancastrian to put up a fight was the captain and opener, Mark Chilton, who was fifth man out for 38.

Ben Smith and Gareth Batty guided Worcestershire to a hard fought draw in their clash with Leicestershire. The pair came together with their team struggling on 133 for 5 after being set a unlikely 371 to win, following Aftab Habib's unbeaten 90. Chris Gayle made a rapid 57 from 67 balls but he fell to Charl Willoughby, who then rapidly dismissed Vikram Solanki. Steven Davies made a useful 29 but plenty was still to do when Smith and Batty came together. However, with solid defence and the ability still to dispatch the bad ball they negotiated the remaining overs as Leicestershire tried seven bowlers to dismiss them.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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