- ECB Reporters Network
Northants 224-5 are still 18 runs behind Gloucestershire
Rob Newton was one short of a century at lunch as Northamptonshire fought to salvage a draw against Gloucestershire on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match at the Brightside Ground, Bristol
The opener, unbeaten on 58 overnight, moved confidently to 99 not out off 216 balls, with 16 fours, as his side progressed from 120 for three to 224 for five in their second innings, still 18 runs behind.
After the early loss of Richard Levi for 23, caught behind dabbing at a wide ball from David Payne, Adam Rossington helped Newton add 60 for the sixth wicket.
Rossington, who damaged a finger wicketkeeping on Monday, looked in pain against the quicker bowlers, but played well for his 39 before miscuing the medium-pace of Kieran Noema-Barnett to mid-on where Payne took a good diving catch.
Steven Crook appeared to survive a chance to Roderick, standing up to Noema-Barnett, before he had scored and was unbeaten on seven at lunch, while Newton headed off with plenty of time to contemplate his century, having looked untroubled.
- ECB Reporters Network
Somerset 93-4 lead Middlesex by 46 runs
Tim Murtagh and Ollie Rayner led the way as Middlesex given themselves a chance of forcing victory over Somerset in Division One at Lord’s.
Somerset reached 93 for 4 at lunch, a lead of 46, after Murtagh claimed openers Tom Abell and Marcus Trescothick in successive overs and Rayner removed Chris Rogers and took a brilliant catch to end Jim Allenby’s innings.
After taking a first-innings lead of 47, Middlesex broke through in the seventh over when Murtagh trapped Abell (9) lbw with a ball which swung late.
Trescothick (5) got the thinnest of edges and was caught behind and Rayner struck in his first over with a ball that turned and left Rogers (12), who edged to the wicketkeeper.
Rayner then dived full-length to his right to take an outstanding one-handed catch at second slip as Allenby drove expansively at James Harris in the 19th over.
Somerset were effectively 10 for 4 at that stage, but James Hildreth (43) and Peter Trego (12) negotiated a further seven overs unscathed.
Earlier, slow left-armer Jack Leach bowled Murtagh for 14 as Middlesex were dismissed for 423, Leach finishing with 5 for 77 from 30 overs.
- Live Update
Tim Wigmore at Somerset 93-4 v Middlesex
Maybe we will have a result after all - and Middlesex and Somerset will not be consigned to six straight draws in the County Championship. After batting on this morning, which seemed needlessly defensive, Middlesex have been indebted to Tim Murtagh’s seam, which accounted for both openers in a characteristically precise new ball spell. But it was only when Chris Rogers feathered Ollie Rayner behind, ending his hopes of twin centuries returning to his former home, that Middlesex’s victory hopes first became realistic. Rayner was soon involved again, diving one-handed to his right at second slip, to remove Jim Allenby, who looks two places two high at number five. The onus is now on James Hildreth and Peter Trego, two Somerset locals who have been in superb form this season, to prevent defeat. Middlesex have benefited from the cloud cover this morning, but they won’t want too much of it: they have lost more overs than any other county this season.