Middlesex still teetering on relegation precipice

Nottinghamshire 316-5 v Middlesex
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The Independent Online

Middlesex, making a final bid to pile up points between themselves and relegation to the Second Division of the County Championship, showed a marked lack of urgency in everything they did here yesterday.

Middlesex, making a final bid to pile up points between themselves and relegation to the Second Division of the County Championship, showed a marked lack of urgency in everything they did here yesterday.

At one stage, before a number of stoppages for bad light helped them out, their over rate was minus seven - equivalent to a 1.75 penalty point deduction if that had been maintained.

It was a dangerous trend because Middlesex came into this match needing victory to guarantee top-flight survival. They need 15 points to retain their First Division status. Their opponents, Nottinghamshire, are already doomed.

Middlesex have lost three of their last four matches, having been unbeaten in 11 before that. Yesterday, their fielding was, at best, casual, at worst, sloppy, while the visitors chose this occasion to bat a little better, and were rewarded with three bonus points for the first time since July.

Their captain, Jason Gallian, dug in for 73 and by the close Russell Warren had reached three figures, only his second century of the season, after more than three watchful hours.

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