Wednesday, 27th July 2005

Middlesex and Essex Seconds Draw with scores level despite the weather

FIXTURE

Vs: Essex Seconds

Venue: The County Ground, Chelmsford

Day 1-3

Play did not start until 2.45 pm on the first day in Middlesex Seconds three day Second Eleven Championship Match with Essex Seconds due to persistent drizzle. In the 33 overs that were possible on the first day, between the showers, Middlesex reached 133-1, with Billy Godleman on 71 and Nick Compton on 53, despite losing Johnny Nambair for 0 off the 3rd ball of the match, and after losing the toss and being asked to bat first by Essex.

On second morning only four overs were possible when with the score on 144-1 the rain returned and play did not get underway again until ten to one. However, due to the provision for playing the extra hour on the first two days of a three day second eleven championship match only eight overs were lost. Godleman and Compton then took their partnership to 180 just after lunch when Compton went for 81. When Billy Godleman went for a maiden championship century of 113 the score had reached 265- 5. The tail from here scored steadily as Peter Trego scored 38, Chris Peploe and Chris Wright 29 and Ollie Roland-Jones 28 not out which enabled Middlesex to declare on 359-8 at tea, despite 3-22 from Tom Westley.

By the close, despite the loss of two more overs due to a short shower, which meant remarkably despite the terrible weather forecast only ten overs had been lost in the day, in 36 overs remaining Essex reached 157-4 mainly due to 96 from Will Jefferson and despite Chris Peploe taking 2-47.

On the final morning Essex declared on their overnight score, which gave Middlesex a first innings lead of 202. Middlesex then batted until 12.30pm when they declared on 175-4 due to 50 from Billy Godlemen 37 from Nick Compton, 30 from Johnny Nambiar and 27 not out from Peter Trego and despite Jahid Ahmed taking 2-58. This set Essex 378 to win in a minimum of 72 overs.

They were soon in trouble as they collapsed to 87-3 with Will Jefferson gone for 54. By tea they had recovered to 155-3. After tea the innings was held together by Mark Pettini despite a superb display of spin bowling from Chris Peploe who bowled 31 overs without a break. When Pettini was finally out to Peploe for 157 in 63rd with the score on 324-6 all four results were possible as Tom Westley held the tail together with 55 not out. The match came right down to last over, with eight required, and the last ball, with five required and nine wickets down. However, unlike the Second Eleven Trophy match at Shenley, Morris Chambers could only hit Peter Trego for four from the last ball so the match was drawn with scores level. Chris Peploe from his marathon bowling spell finished with 6- 126 which gave him match figures of 8-173.

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