Morgan resists rampaging Panesar

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Eoin Morgan

Of Middlesex's batsmen, Eoin Morgan alone withstood Monty Panesar to battle to the close for a draw at Uxbridge

England duo Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn batted out the last 12 overs as Middlesex held on for a draw against Sussex in Division Two of the LV= County Championship at Uxbridge.

Monty Panesar looked to have put leaders Sussex on course for a dramatic victory as he took five wickets to help reduce Middlesex to 175 for eight in pursuit of an improbable 343.

But after Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah both failed, Morgan dug in for over two and a half hours for his unbeaten 58. He received good support from Finn to frustrate Sussex, who finished on 204 for eight.

The visitors started the day 211 ahead with five wickets in hand but lost nightwatchman Lewis Hatchett in the sixth over to give Finn his third wicket of the innings and sixth of the match.

First-innings centurion Luke Wright and Michael Thornely put on 86 for the seventh wicket in 21 overs, reaching their half-centuries off successive balls.

Wright got there first, off 65 balls, while Thornely's spanned three hours and 133 balls.

Thornely's stay came to an end soon afterwards when he played on to Neil Dexter, while Wright departed for 62 to the first ball he received after lunch, lbw to Shaun Udal.

Udal then had Ollie Rayner caught on the boundary, which prompted Sussex skipper Mike Yardy to declare on 240 for nine and leave Middlesex a minimum of 58 overs to bat.

England skipper Andrew Strauss, who made just eight in the first innings, began positively but was lucky to be given two reprieves by Sussex.

Rayner was unable to hold on to a difficult chance at second slip when Strauss was on 14 and Matt Prior missed a tough stumping opportunity off Panesar on 18.

Panesar also saw Hatchett put down John Simpson before three wickets fell in the space of 21 balls to give Sussex hope.

Panesar trapped Simpson lbw as he padded up to a straight one and had Dawid Malan caught at short-leg, while Shah was caught behind for 14 off part-time seamer Thornely.

Strauss's luck finally ran out when he was bowled for 37 by a quicker ball from Panesar to leave Middlesex in trouble at 89 for four.

Dexter and Morgan looked to have ended Sussex's hopes of victory with a partnership of 71 in 23 overs but Middlesex lost four wickets in seven overs to blow the game wide open again.

Dexter and Gareth Berg went in the space of three balls to Rayner, before Panesar picked up the scalps of Udal and Tom Roland-Jones to finish with figures of 5-89, though even that was not enough.

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