Hughes shines in Middlesex draw
Any hopes a modest Middlesex crowd had of watching Australia opening batsman Phil Hughes score a second century of the match in a thrilling last-day run chase were dashed by Glamorgan’s decision to bat late into the final afternoon.
The chief villain of this drawn LV= County Championship game in the eyes of the Lord’s faithful was none other than former Middlesex all-rounder Jamie Dalrymple, the new captain of the Welsh county.
The 28-year-old erred on the side of caution by batting on to reach his own 184-ball century just after lunch, then further delayed his declaration until 3pm, with the score on 278 for eight, to set the hosts an improbable target of 369 in 44 overs.
Even Hughes, fresh from a 141-ball hundred in the first innings, was unable to match up to the asking rate of 8.38 an over - especially once he lost three of his top-order team-mates inside the first 15 overs of their impossible chase and Middlesex eventually closed on 94 for three.
Billy Godleman (three) followed one going across the body from David Harrison to nick one to the tumbling Mark Wallace then, without addition to the total, Neil Dexter feathered a leg-cutter from the same bowler to second slip to go for a second-ball duck.
Eoin Morgan then lost his off stump to Adam Shantry to leave Middlesex wobbling on 31 for three.
There was never any fear of a Middlesex capitulation, however, as Hughes, having witnessed the slide from the other end, still had a tremendous thirst for runs.
The other factor was that Glamorgan did not quite know where to bowl to the 20-year-old left-hander from New South Wales.
Often moving well outside his leg stump to create room for his favoured cut shot, Hughes powered to a 53-ball half-century with eight fours.
In a bid to stem the flow of runs and cuts, Dalrymple posted two gullies, a deep cover, deep point and deep backward point – yet still Hughes pierced the off-side field.
In tandem with fellow left-hander Dawid Malan (13 not out), batting with Dexter as his runner having tweaked his hamstring on Friday, Hughes put on a glorious show of stroke-making as the fourth-wicket pair compiled 63 inside 13 overs to keep the crowd entertained until the sides shook hands on the draw at 5.10pm.
By then Hughes had sauntered to an unbeaten 65 and taken his match aggregate to 183. Little wonder the Middlesex support would love Hughes to be staying with the club longer than his planned six-week stint.
Earlier, Middlesex had threatened to take control of proceedings and set their own target by dismissing Glamorgan relatively cheaply in their second innings.
Resuming on their overnight score of 94 for four the visitors slumped to 154 for seven after a brace of wickets for Danny Evans helped cut through the middle order, but Dalrymple refused to be dislodged and went on to score his second century against his former club in 237 minutes and with eight fours.
He teamed up with former captain Robert Croft to stop the rot with an eighth-wicket stand of 124 in 30 overs, a Glamorgan record against Middlesex.
Once Croft went for a brisk 52 Glamorgan declared, but by then the target was beyond even Hughes.