County Championship: Bears earn weather-hit draw with Middlesex

Warwickshire Jeetan Patel
Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel ended up with eight wickets in the match to stand on 48 for the season
LV= County Championship Division One, Edgbaston
Middlesex 207: Dexter 53, Patel 5-59 & 173-6: Dexter 43; Patel 3-65
Warwickshire 254: Ambrose 89, Chopra 44; Murtagh 4-55, Rayner 3-75
Match Drawn
Warwickshire 10 pts, Middlesex 9 pts
Match scorecard

Warwickshire had to settle for a draw with Middlesex, one of their rivals for second place, in their weather-affected County Championship clash at Edgbaston.

After resuming on 224-8, despite the early loss of Tim Ambrose (89), the Bears added a further 30 before being bowled out for 254 - a 47-run lead.

Jeetan Patel then struck three times to leave Middlesex in trouble on 105-5.

But all-rounder Neil Dexter hit 43 to shore things up before hands were shaken with his side on 173-6.

Rankin reprimanded by ECB
Warwickshire fast bowler Boyd Rankin has been given a reprimand for showing dissent to umpires Steve Gale and Steve O'Shaughnessy during last week's Championship defeat by Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.The punishment remains on his record for two years and may result in a ban if the Ireland and England international misbehaves again in that time period.

Dexter, who had also been the visitors' top scorer in the first innings with 53, again supplied the resistance required in a 74-ball knock spread over an hour and a half.

While Tim Murtagh was Middlesex's most successful bowler with 4-55, spinner Ollie Rayner's three wickets were more of a collector's item, having all been taken on different days - one on Wednesday, one on Thursday and one on Friday.

But, in the end, the loss of the entire first day to rain, allied to further interruptions on days two and three, took too much time out of the game for either side to force victory.

Middlesex's nine points strengthened their chances of finishing runners-up to likely champions Yorkshire, who they now host at Lord's, beginning next Wednesday.

Warwickshire, in fourth place, 26 points behind Middlesex, have a 10-day break before they play again, at home to Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston, starting on Monday 14 September.

Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown told BBC WM 95.6:

"Despite the loss of so much time to the weather we still had a decent game on our hands. Another wicket just after tea and who knows what could have happened.

"It was always going to be difficult to manufacture a result. But we deserve quite a bit of credit for getting as close as we did. Batting was never easy and Tim Ambrose's batting, in conjunction with Keith Barker and Chris Wright, was exceptional. That gave us a bit of a chance with a slender lead.

"The title is out of our reach now so all we can do is try to dominate the game we are playing in. In the latter parts of this game we showed that we are a very good side. And we had not shown that in the previous two four-days games."

Middlesex head coach Richard Scott told BBC London 94.9:

"We showed some good battling qualities against some high-quality spin on a wearing pitch. Without the loss of a whole day in the match it could have been a very good contest.

"It wasn't an easy pitch to bat on. We were probably 50 shy in the first innings when it was probably at its best and then when Warwickshire were 86-6x on the third day we just missed a trick with our accuracy, although Tim Ambrose played tremendously well and played the innings of the match.

"They put us under pressure but we handled it well. Neil Dexter batted very well again. He looks on top of his game and is back in control of everything he's doing. He has played three key innings for us in the last two games and really held us together."