Weekes secures share of spoils

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The Independent Online

Paul Weekes contributed in all departments as Middlesex launched their County Championship campaign with 12 points from a draw with Warwickshire in their First Division game at Edgbaston.

The all-rounder put his side on top on Saturday with a century in their total of 432 for 8 and took the fifth five-wicket return of his career yesterday. His best bowling performance for almost three years was also supplemented by an athletic catch at second slip to dismiss the tail-ender Neil Carter as Warwickshire wasted an opportunity to claim maximum batting bonus points.

The home side scored at around five runs an over in cruising past 250 with only four wickets down but crumbled for 317.

Given a lead of 115, Middlesex opted to turn the final session into a pointless exercise. They lost the openers Sven Koenig and Ben Hutton and then declared at 54 for 2 to make Warwickshire bat again for five overs in which they scored 24 without loss.

In the Second Division, Shane Warne made a winning start to life as Hampshire captain as they saw off Durham by three wickets at the Rose Bowl. Hampshire required 109 runs to win from their second innings but made hard work of it and were 52 for 7 at one stage as Liam Plunkett tore through the order, claiming 4 for 48.

However, Dimitri Mascarenhas (33no) and Will Kendall (31no) stopped the rot and ensured Warne's second-innings 5 for 68 was not in vain.

Glamorgan's attempt to secure victory ended in frustration as Derbyshire were able to bat out for a draw at Sophia Gardens.

The Glamorgan captain, Robert Croft, declared at 323 for 4 in the morning session and then attempted to bowl the visitors out. But some resolute batting from Croft's Derbyshire counterpart Luke Sutton (61no) in particular enabled them to reach 238 for 5 and take a draw.

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