Middlesex have gone a long way towards holding the favourites to a draw for a second time this summer. They have exploited every Lancashire weakness and the 109-run stand between Ben Hutton and Owais Shah seems to have guaranteed a draw.
Lancashire's initial aim was to eliminate the deficit of 130 and build up a lead. Shah persisted with his young spinners to defensive fields for another 35 overs after he could have claimed the new ball. Chris Peploe, the left-armer, kept Mal Loye in check by bowling over the wicket into the rough and when Loye was seventh out, slicing the new ball to cover, his 98 had taken 133 overs.
But it was the off-spin of Jamie Dalrymple that removed the armament of Stuart Law and Carl Hooper inside eight overs and then Warren Hegg.
Middlesex were back at the crease shortly after tea, 25 behind, and soon lost Sven Koenig to James Anderson. But Hutton and Shah steadied the ship before the former fell to Anderson in the final over.