Rogers and Simpson repel Northants

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Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers compiled a defiant 145 to steer Middlesex to a valuable draw against Division Two title rivals Northamptonshire at Lord's

A sixth-wicket partnership of 188 in 49 overs between Chris Rogers and John Simpson enabled Middlesex to hold LV= County Championship Division Two leaders Northamptonshire to a draw at Lord’s.

It looked as though Middlesex, who remain only seven points behind their opponents with a game in hand, were on their way to only their second defeat of the season when they slumped to 58 for four yesterday to trail by 24.

However, they batted throughout the final day to finish on 313 for eight.

Rogers, who had two seasons with Northamptonshire in 2006 and 2007 as well as spells with Leicestershire and Derbyshire, made 145 before he was leg before to the occasional leg-spin of Rob White.

Simpson, the wicketkeeper who has forced his way into the Middlesex side on the strength of his batting, had scored 72 when he was bowled playing across the line against Luke Evans.

Middlesex had added only 20 to their overnight score when Jamie Dalrymple, who had helped Rogers add 47 for the fifth wicket, was bowled by Chaminda Vaas for 23.

They were still only 36 ahead when Rogers, then on 61, edged Andrew Hall, the Northamptonshire captain, to second slip where White put down a straightforward catch.

With the lead up to 150, Simpson was then badly dropped by Hall at slip off Middlebrook, having taken his score to 47.

Those dropped catches were to cost Northamptonshire dearly and their frustration showed as the day wore on.

Rogers went on to reach his third championship hundred of the season in the last over before lunch when he pulled off-spinner Alex Wakely’s first two balls for six and he had also struck 19 fours in his 238-ball knock when he played back to White and fell lbw.

Middlesex were 184 runs ahead at that stage and their lead had been stretched to 209 by the time Simpson, who had faced 174 balls and hit nine fours, was out.

In between, Lee Daggett had Steven Crook caught at slip but that was academic because Northamptonshire had already settled for 11 points and Middlesex nine to extend the gap between themselves and third-placed Derbyshire.

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