Gidman halts Middlesex's perfect start

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Will Gidman

A first-class-best of 93 from Will Gidman all but ensured Gloucestershire drew with Middlesex, who were left an improbable 300 to win at Bristol

Middlesex's 100% record in LV= County Championship Division Two came to an end at Bristol, where a first-class-best 93 from Will Gidman ensured a draw for Gloucestershire.

Middlesex looked the more likely victors when Gidman was joined in the middle by Liam Norwell with Gloucestershire on 263 for eight and holding a lead of 215.

But Gidman, who struck 10 fours and a six, and teenager Norwell put on 75 for the ninth wicket and Gloucestershire were eventually bowled out for 347.

That left Middlesex requiring 300 in 50 overs to register a fourth successive win, but the visitors effectively gave up the chase after openers Chris Rogers and Scott Newman were dismissed by Jon Lewis inside seven overs.

They had reached 123 for four with 20 overs remaining when umpires Mark Benson and Nick Cook took the players off for bad light, and no resumption was possible.

Earlier, after rain had delayed the start of play by 45 minutes, Middlesex took three wickets in the first 13 overs to raise their hopes of another victory.

Chris Taylor, who had not added to his overnight 60, and Lewis were both caught behind by John Simpson off Corey Collymore before David Payne also edged to Simpson, this time off Tim Murtagh.

Middlesex took the second new ball soon after, but needed 15 overs with it before the partnership between Gidman and Norwell was broken.

Former Durham player Gidman advanced to a 135-ball half-century and then upped the tempo with some superb strokeplay, which included a six cut over backward square-leg off Neil Dexter.

He passed his previous best for Gloucestershire of 89 and had a maiden hundred within sight when he miscued a drive at Toby Roland-Jones to Newman at mid-off.

Hamish Marshall, who had retired hurt yesterday with a fractured right thumb, came out to bat and help Norwell prolong Gloucestershire's innings.

Norwell managed to keep Marshall off strike, and pulled two boundaries through midwicket, before he was bowled for 26 having a big swing at Collymore, who finished with 4-57.

Middlesex needed a major contribution from Rogers or Newman to have realistic hope of chasing down their target, but Lewis accounted for both cheaply.

Rogers had made five when he was caught low at first slip by Alex Gidman, and Newman was on 16 when he pulled to Kane Williamson on the backward square-leg boundary.

Dawid Malan hit six fours in his 39 before being bowled by Lewis, and Dan Housego had made 45 when he was caught behind off Will Gidman. Only another two overs were possible after Housego's dismissal when bad light ended play.

Middlesex took 11 points from the game and third-placed Gloucestershire 10.

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