County Championship: Rain ruins Middlesex-Glamorgan prospects

Cricket rain
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Radlett (day four):
Middlesex 410: Stirling 138, Robson 107 & 125-4 Gubbins 38; Labuschagne 2-25
Glamorgan 288: Lloyd 59, Labuschagne 51, Cullen 50; Finn 5-75
Middlesex (12 pts) drew with Glamorgan (9 pts)
Match scorecard

Middlesex and Glamorgan saw the chances of a positive finish ruined by the return of rain early on the final afternoon.

Middlesex were heading towards a declaration at 125 for 4 in their second innings, a lead of 247.

Glamorgan faced the prospect of a difficult target of around 280, or about 50 overs to survive in tricky conditions.

Middlesex took 12 points from the weather-hit match to Glamorgan's nine.

The home side enjoyed the better of the match overall thanks to centuries from Sam Robson and Paul Stirling and some hostile bowling from Steve Finn, but Glamorgan's batting crucially showed enough resolve to avoid the follow-on.

The Welsh county remain unbeaten halfway through their Championship season, a remarkable turn-around after 10 defeats in 2018.

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan told BBC Radio London:

"It's disappointing not to get this full game in, but after the Sussex game where we didn't play very well, we sat down and discussed the need to score hundreds and take five-fors consistently as a team. We played to that blueprint and it set the game up for us nicely.

"For those two to knuckle down, especially for Stirlo to put his natural game away, and for Sam Robson to get through a tough period and score a well-deserved hundred was fantastic.

"You need 20 poles to win a game, we haven't looked like taking 20 poles this year, so to see Finny back and take a five-for was fantastic for us as a club.

"Two of the last three games, we've set the standards we should be playing to."

Glamorgan assistant coach David Harrison told BBC Sport Wales:

"It's a shame the rain came because it could have been a good game if they'd set us a target in 50 overs chasing about 260.

"We probably left a bonus point or two out there, 350 (for us, first innings) would have been a good score and we came up short, but we leave with nine points and remain unbeaten.

"Every game this game when we've been under pressure, the guys have shown resilience with the bat as we did when we were under pressure of the follow-on. David Lloyd and Tom Cullen put that partnership together, and Graham Wagg came in, calmed it down and got us past the follow-on.

"It's been a good first half of the season, without getting carried away (about promotion), if we stick to our plans, we've got a good chance of finishing top three."