Report

Wash-out at New Road caps Middlesex's return to top flight

No play possible on final day of season, but promotion was already assured

Brett D'Oliveira and Tim Murtagh shake hands after the game was abandoned as a draw, Worcestershire vs Middlesex, County Championship, Division Two, New Road, September 29, 2022

Brett D'Oliveira and Tim Murtagh shake hands after the game was abandoned as a draw  •  Getty Images

Middlesex509 (Eskinazi 115, Malan 93, Simpson 92, Roland-Jones 55*) lead Worcestershire 225 (Boyce 107) by 284 runs
Middlesex's promotion to Division One of the LV=Insurance County Championship was confirmed after rain washed out the final day of the encounter with Worcestershire at New Road.
They had effectively made sure of finishing in the top two after accruing a maximum haul of five batting points on the third day.
Today's blank meant Middlesex collected the additional eight points for a share of the spoils which ensured they finished ahead of nearest challengers Glamorgan.
They will be part of the top flight in 2023 along with Division Two champions Nottinghamshire.
Middlesex won six of their 14 games and, after a mid-season run of five matches without a win, returned to form with perfect timing on the return of red-ball cricket in September.
A 10-wicket win over Glamorgan at Lord's proved crucial in the final analysis before an 80-run success away to Leicestershire was followed by the required points haul at New Road.
It was during this game that opener Mark Stoneman and wicket-keeper-batter John Simpson completed 1,000 runs for the season while Toby Roland-Jones surpassed his previous best wicket haul in a campaign from a decade ago and ended with 67 scalps.
For Worcestershire, they will reflect on what might have been with their red-ball form in contrast to a woeful campaign in the Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup.
There were in contention for promotion for much of the summer and there are plenty of green shoots of optimism to suggest they may mount a stronger challenge in 12 months time.
Pakistan batter Azhar Ali is returning for a second season as overseas player and has been a big influence on the progression of some of the promising youngsters, most notably Jack Haynes.
Dillon Pennington has also developed into a more consistent and potent force with the ball while left armer Ben Gibbon showed plenty of promise in his first season as a professional cricketer.
They have also recruited Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite and Warwickshire batter Adam Hose on three year deals to strengthen their squad.
But it was a soggy end to Ed Barnard's career at New Road before he heads up the M5 to join Warwickshire after establishing himself as a top six batter for Worcestershire and finishing as their leading run scorer in 2022.

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County Championship Division Two
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