County Championship: Middlesex v Somerset ends in draw

Tim Murtagh
Tim Murtagh took seven wickets in the match against Somerset
LV= County Championship Division One, Northwood
Middlesex 283 & 132-6 dec: Franklin 32; J Overton 2-28, Trego 2-39
Somerset 197 & 147-7: Trescothick 50; Murtagh 3-43
Match drawn
Middlesex 10 pts, Somerset 8 pts

Neither Somerset nor Middlesex could force victory after a topsy turvy 40-over run chase at Northwood.

Resuming on 185-5, the visitors could only add 12 to their overnight total, before Jamie Overton then took 2-28 to help reduce Middlesex to 132-6.

Hoping to achieve a positive result, home captain James Franklin opted to declare, setting Somerset 219 to win.

The away side looked well set at 99-2, but the loss of five wickets for 48 meant they could only muster 147-7.

Middlesex may even have sneaked an unlikely victory themselves, as Somerset slipped to 141-6 after 32.3 overs and then 145-7 with 18 balls remaining, but the draw means they remain second in Division One, 14 points adrift of leaders Yorkshire.

The decision by Franklin to declare appeared a risky one at the time and Marcus Trescothick's 50, his second half-century of the match, and James Hildreth's attacking 25 from 24 deliveries left Somerset strong favourites, needing 120 from the final 109 deliveries.

With the loss of Hildreth to James Harris (2-49) went the visitors' hopes of victory, however, while Tim Murtagh also chipped in with 3-43 to leave the total tally of wickets to fall on the final day at 15.

Somerset are now fourth in the table, 14 points above Worcestershire in eighth and the final relegation spot.

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