Berg & Rayner help Middlesex see off Derbyshire

LV County Championship Division Two, Derby
Middlesex 230 & 329-7 beat Derbyshire 154 & 403 by three wickets
Middlesex 20pts, Derbys 3pts
Match scorecard
LV County Championship

Gareth Berg and Ollie Rayner scored half-centuries as Middlesex beat Derbyshire by three wickets.

Middlesex began day three on 145-2, still needing a potentially tricky 183 to win and they soon slumped to 197-6, as Tony Palladino finished with 4-85.

But Berg (80) and Rayner (58 not out) put on 97 for the seventh wicket in 24 overs to take the visitors to within 38 of a second victory of the season.

Tim Murtagh joined Rayner to help Middlesex keep up their 100% record.

Derbyshire began the day with two wickets in the opening two overs as Dawid Malan and Neil Dexter fell to Tim Groenewald and Palladino respectively.

Dan Housego scored 27 off 110 balls to hold an end but once he fell to Palladino and John Simpson became Ross Whiteley's first Championship victory, the home side scented victory.

Rayner and Berg frustrated the East Midlands county after lunch, before the latter cut Palladino to backward point to give the seamer his ninth victim in the match.

But Rayner shut the door firmly in Derbyshire's face and drove Whiteley for two consecutive fours to win a pulsating contest.

DAY FOUR REACTION

Middlesex captain Neil Dexter told BBC London 94.9:

"Everyone is working hard at their batting, right down to number 11 and I think it was just a great team effort.

"We had a good first day and Derbyshire bounced back on the second day and put us under pressure.

"I think the third day was evenly balanced but we took the confidence from last week's win at Essex."

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