Rearguard action from Rogers gives advantage to Middlesex

Middlesex's Chris Rogers.

Middlesex's Chris Rogers.

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Chris Rogers’s rearguard double-century rescued a precious stalemate for Middlesex against Somerset in their bid to avoid relegation from LV= County Championship Division One.

The Middlesex captain finished unbeaten on 203 out of 328-4 declared, having begun the final day on 97 at Taunton.

Rogers’s heroics continued the resistance begun by Eoin Morgan and Toby Roland-Jones in the Londoners’ first innings.

The Australia Test opener batted for seven-and-a-half hours, eventually passing 200 for the 11th time in his career.

Moments later, Rogers shook hands with his opposite number Marcus Trescothick – having carried his team to safety after they had followed on 300 runs behind.

Rogers shared century stands with Dawid Malan and Joe Denly (60) as Middlesex lost only seven wickets over the final two days.

They will therefore head for next week’s relegation decider at Old Trafford needing only a maximum six more points to send Lancashire down.

There was late drama too as Nottinghamshire’s late collapse against Sussex cost them dear with a 191-run defeat.

It means Sussex and Durham, but no longer Notts, are the teams who can still catch Warwickshire next week for the runners-up spot behind title winners Yorkshire.

There appeared little chance of anything but a stalemate when Sussex set their hosts a notional 385 runs to win. But Notts lost their last seven wickets for 62 runs in under 20 overs as seamers Steve Magoffin (4-51), Chris Jordan (3-54) and left-arm spinner Ashar Zaidi (3-50) did the damage.

Earlier, Sussex captain Ed Joyce reached 149 not out, hitting 17 fours and three sixes in all.

It was only after Luke Wells then struck a rapid 79, though, that Joyce declared on 406-6.

Sussex will need only eight points away to relegated Northamptonshire in their final match to go above Notts – whose season is over. But the Bears remain strong favourites to hold off both them and Durham, who will be the visitors at Edgbaston.

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