Middlesex 283 from 93.1 overs (Malan 69, Robson 67, Compton 32, Rayner 31; Gregory 5-58, Groenewald 4-55) and 132-6 from 29 overs (Franklin 32, Compton 30) drew with Somerset 197 from 75 overs (Trescothick 52, Allenby 43; Finn 4-41, Murtagh 3-60 and 147-7 from 39.4 overs (Trescothick 50; Murtagh 3-43). Somerset 8 points, Middlesex 10 points.
Attempts by both captains to set up a positive result after losing the whole of Monday to rain produced an eventful, entertaining final day at Merchant Taylor’s School, which eventually fizzled out into a draw.
Set a one-day total of 218 for victory in 40 overs, Marcus Trescothick led the way with his second half century of the match, but Somerset eventually ended on 147-7 before the players shook hands on a draw at 6.45pm with two balls remaining.
Afterwards the captain said: “We had a crack at it and the rain probably helped us a little bit in the game as we were behind the eight ball I guess.
“We did have a dart at it just to see if we could get anywhere near it and set it up towards the end but it was just a bit too tricky really and we couldn’t hit enough deliveries to get the score down quickly enough so it fizzled out in the end unfortunately, but it was a good game.”
Regarding his own batting, Trescothick said: “In the context of the pitch you would take two 50s in the game but you want the victories and that is what you are really after. It was hard work and a job well done and now we have to move on.”
Somerset resumed their first innings on 185-8 in reply to the hosts 283 all out, with their immediate thoughts on scoring another 15 runs to secure a batting bonus point before the final two wickets fell.
However they quickly lost both Tim Groenewald Tim Murtagh and Michael Bates, who was run out by Eoin Morgan, to leave them 197 all out, still 86 runs behind Middlesex’s first innings.
Batting for a second time Somerset’s bowlers made early inroads in to the Middlesex second innings as Groenewald and Peter Trego removed the openers before the rain fell again, forcing an early lunch with Middlesex on 41-2, a lead of 127.
When play re-started after the interval Nick Compton and Dawid Malan saw the score onto 66 when the latter had his stumps dismantled by a stunning yorker from Jamie Overton in a hostile spell of fast bowling. Two overs later the young paceman struck again, this time removing Compton, caught at second slip by Trescothick for 30 with the total on 79.
It was a match to forget for England one-day captain Eoin Morgan, who was the next man out with the total on 83. After falling to Groenewald for 0 in the first innings, he was dismissed without scoring again in the second innings, this time caught by Lewis Gregory off Trego.
Middlesex captain James Franklin was joined by John Simpson and the sixth-wicket pair hurried the score onto 128 when Franklin was caught by Jim Allenby off Gregory for 32.
Ollie Rayner faced one ball which he dispatched to the boundary before Middlesex declared on 132-6.
Tresocthick and Tom Abell got Somerset off to a good start and after 10 overs had taken Somerset onto 39.
Soon after however, Abell was lbw to Tim Murtagh for 21 and Johann Myburgh, who scored 14 off 11 balls, was caught at mid-off by Franklin off Murtagh to leave Somerset on 57-2.
James Hildreth helped to see Somerset to 99 but after hitting 5 boundaries on his way to a score of 25, he was caught behind off Toby Roland-Jones in the 23rd over.
Trescothick took a single off Roland-Jones to see up his half century, which came off 85 balls with 7 fours, but two balls later he was caught by Franklin which made Somerset 126-4.
Jamie Overton was promoted in the order to help with the run chase, but after making 5 he was out caught and bowled by James Harris. Jim Allenby was the next to go after making 23 when he was caught by Roland-Jones off Harris with the score on 141 in the 33rd over.
Pete Trego had scored 4 when he was brilliantly caught at third slip by Sam Robson to give Murtagh his third wicket.
That brought the day full circle with Bates at the crease again with Groenewald. The pair managed to survive the final three overs before the captains shook hands on the draw.
Somerset take eight points from the match, which leaves them in fifth place in Division One on 116 points, 13 points clear of Nottinghamshire in sixth. Their next opponents, Warwickshire, are 17 points above them with 133.
Middlesex are in second place on 151 points, but have played one game more than all the teams below them in the table.