Recent Match Report – Notts vs Middlesex 30th Match 2022

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Middlesex 376 (Simpson 92, Holden 86, Stoneman 67, Hollman 52, Pattinson 4-65) and 261 for 1 (Stoneman 109*, Robson 108) drew with Nottinghamshire 551 for 8 dec (James 155, Mullaney 79, Patterson-White 50, Hollman 4-122)

Middlesex, forced to follow-on 175 behind on Tuesday, secured the draw that always looked the most likely outcome on a benign pitch against Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire by batting through the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match one wicket down, with a century apiece for openers Sam Robson and Mark Stoneman.

The result rewarded Tim Murtagh’s team for fighting back from 106 for five on day three to post 376 in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 551 for eight declared. They were 261 for one when the draw was declared.

Robson and Stoneman, who had come through 20 overs unscathed against the home side’s high-quality attack on Tuesday evening, won another battle by reaching lunch with their wickets still intact and put together a partnership of 201 before they were finally parted.

By then Nottinghamshire had opted to rest their frontline bowlers in favour of part-timers, accepting that the chance of a win had gone. By the time the sides shook hands on a draw, captain Steven Mullaney had given at least an over to all his 11 players, including wicketkeeper Tom Moores.

Given the benign nature of the pitch, Nottinghamshire needed early successes if they were to put Middlesex under pressure.

But there were few opportunities, the clearest of which was offered by Stoneman off Dane Paterson on 19 but not taken by Liam Patterson-White at short midwicket.

James Pattinson thought he had Robson leg before on 39 when the former England opener tried to duck a ball that hardly bounced, but was judged to be clearing the stumps when it struck him. The Australian pace man had half a chance of a low caught-and-bowled in the same over but that too came to nothing.

Then Patterson-White and virtually the full complement of five close fielders went up in unison, convinced that Stoneman, on 35, had been caught behind. Again the verdict was not out.

But these were rare and fleeting moments of excitement and one felt for the teachers trying to keep the attention of a large school party occupying a block of seats in the William Clarke Stand. The opening pair’s achievement in staying together for 100 runs for the first time this season did not much impress them.

The pair had added 59 more to their overnight score when lunch arrived at 122 without loss, by which time Ben Slater, the erstwhile part-time off-spinner, had just begun what would by some distance be the longest spell of bowling in his first-class career, stretching to 18 overs before he returned to more customary duties.

By then his fellow opening bat Haseeb Hameed was bowling leg breaks from the other end and Robson was celebrating his second century of the season, both against Nottinghamshire, having faced 247 balls and hit a dozen boundaries.

Steven Mullaney took the new ball but handed in to Ben Duckett, another very occasional off-spinner, but one with a first-class wicket to his name for Northamptonshire in 2017. To great amusement, he picked up his second with only his eighth ball, Robson tickling one down the leg side to be caught by a diving Moores for 108 out of 201.

Stoneman completed his second century of the season off 281 balls. By then Joe Clarke had joined the fun, brushing the rust off his right-arm medium pace for the first time since he bowled two overs for Worcestershire in 2016.

As the clock ticked towards the moment the game could officially be declared a draw, Clarke donned the wicket-keeper’s pads and Moores bowled an over of right-arm medium, the first of his career at any level of senior cricket.

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