Gloucestershire settle for draw

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Tim Murtagh

Middlesex Seamer Tim Murtagh claimed three quick wickets but Gloucestershire recovered to bat out the final day and secure a draw

Kane Williamson struck a half-century as the LV= County Championship Division Two match between Gloucestershire and Middlesex petered out into a draw at Uxbridge.

New Zealand international Williamson made 73 as Gloucestershire opted against trying to manufacture a result on the final day despite claiming a 134-run lead by wrapping up the Middlesex first innings for 325 inside the first hour.

Gloucestershire, to the displeasure of a sparse crowd, then opted to bat through to the close at 229 for eight, refusing to set Middlesex a target and – more realistically – giving themselves an outside chance of a win which would have catapulted them above their opponents and into second place.

Middlesex required 27 to avoid the follow-on when they resumed on 283 for seven and, despite the early loss of Tim Murtagh who fell lbw to Jon Lewis for seven, a ninth-wicket stand of 39 between Chris Rogers and Anthony Ireland ensured the hosts would not be asked to bat again.

Rogers was eventually bowled middle stump by David Payne for 148, made in just over six hours at the crease and featuring two sixes and 17 fours from 263 balls, and Payne then yorked Ireland to uproot his off stump.

Murtagh sent back Hamish Marshall, with a smart low catch in his follow-through, Chris Dent and Chris Taylor in an excellent new-ball spell and, when Steven Crook bowled first-innings centurion Ian Cockbain, the Gloucestershire second innings was wobbling a little on 65 for four.

However, Richard Coughtrie scored 40 and stayed with Williamson, who made his 73 from 98 balls, to add 94 for the fifth wicket.

The match drifted to the draw after tea, which Gloucestershire took 331 runs ahead at 197 for six.

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