County Championship: George Bailey helps Middlesex bat out draw with Surrey

George Bailey
George Bailey has played five Test matches for Australia
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Lord's
Surrey 415 & 266-7 dec: S Curran 71, Foakes 65*; Roland-Jones 3-44, Rayner 3-72
Middlesex 293 & 278-6: Bailey 110*, Franklin 70; Ansari 4-63
Middlesex (10 pts) drew with Surrey (13 pts)

A century from Australian George Bailey helped Middlesex bat out a draw with Surrey in the Championship at Lord's.

Surrey added 32 runs in four overs in the morning to declare on 266-7, with Ben Foakes ending unbeaten on 65.

Middlesex slumped to 82-5 chasing an unlikely 389 to win, as Zafar Ansari took 4-63 including Nick Compton (22).

But Bailey (110 not out) and James Franklin (70) shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 174 as Middlesex secured the draw on 278-6.

Middlesex are now 13 points clear of second-placed Somerset, who beat Durham inside three days on Saturday.

Surrey's maximum bonus points means they take a healthy 13 points from the game and are now 23 clear of the relegation places, although they have played a game more than Nottinghamshire and Hampshire.

Middlesex lost half their wickets with only 82 on the board and looked in real trouble.

Compton, playing his first Championship game since being omitted from England's Test team in June, spent nearly an hour and a half at the crease before being stumped by Foakes off Ansari.

Bailey hit 20 fours in his 199-ball unbeaten knock to complete his first century for Middlesex and ensure a 13-point lead at the top.

Middlesex's George Bailey told BBC Radio London:

"We just hung in there. That's really all you can do when victory's out of your reach.

"It's a bit of a mental battle for me as I'm a bit immature and can't concentrate for that long. It was a nice challenge to play a different way.

"There was a little bit of turn, but as the ball got softer it made it a little bit easier. The spinners were challenging all day and there were little periods of reverse swing."

Surrey head coach Michael di Venuto told BBC Radio London:

"I'm really pleased with the cricket we've played over the last four days. For three-and-a-half of those, we were outstanding.

"The last half today, we threw absolutely everything at them. Two guys played exceptionally well and sometimes you just have to doff your cap to them and say, 'well played'.

"Our bowling attack has been quite disciplined and we're playing some really good four-day cricket at the moment. As long as we continue to do this, results will take care of themselves."

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