Chris Rogers raps out an Ashes message with double ton
Middlesex 166 & 514-8 Surrey 338 & 85-1 Match drawn
Monday 06 May 2013
The Middlesex captain and potential Ashes opener Chris Rogers cracked a brilliant double hundred at Lord's before letting his side's First Division match with neighbours Surrey drift into a draw.
Rogers – who played his solitary Test match for Australia against India back in 2008 – is back in the Baggy Green squad for this summer's series and staked his claim for a spot in Michael Clarke's side with a thrilling 214, the ninth double hundred of his first-class career.
Rogers batted like a man who wanted to send a message to the Aussie selectors as well as lead his side to victory in adding 83 to his overnight 131 off 67 balls with 10 fours and two sixes, but by the time he declared at 514 for 8, Surrey needed 343 to win from only 48 overs.
They were never going to get the runs and Middlesex were never going to bowl them out on a flat pitch either but, after being forced to follow on 172 runs behind, Rogers was happy to settle for a draw which keeps his side on the heels of early leaders Durham and leaves Surrey still looking for their first win of the season.
The second new ball was only five overs old when Middlesex began the final day at 283 for 2, 111 runs ahead, but after nightwatchman Steve Finn had edged Jade Dernbach to third slip, Rogers and Dawid Malan had few problems putting on 130 in 22 overs.
Rogers, normally a neat, methodical accumulator of runs, was at his most expansive, cutting, driving and pulling Tim Linley and Zander de Bruyn into the stands until he was bowled trying to sweep off-spinner Gareth Batty.
Rogers had been there more than seven hours, faced 307 balls and hit 20 fours and two sixes.
He had almost batted Surrey out of the game but they were still in with a chance when Chris Tremlett had Malan caught at mid-on and Paul Stirling held in the gully in successive overs to leave Middlesex 252 ahead with four wickets left.
It was not long, however, before the part-time bowlers were on in a bid to hasten the declaration and Neil Dexter and John Simpson had helped themselves to 90 in 18 overs when Dexter swung Rory Burns to mid-wicket to give the opening batsman his maiden wicket in first-class cricket.
Arun Harinath also picked up his first wicket, Toby Roland-Jones clubbing him to deep midwicket, before Rogers finally declared, leaving Graeme Smith, the Surrey captain, with little option other than to settle for batting practice after averaging only 18 in his first four Championship innings.
Smith had made 48 of Surrey's 85 for 1 when the teams shook hands on a draw, with Burns the solitary man out, caught by Simpson off Tim Murtagh for 17.
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