LONDON, (CMC) – West Indies and Barbados fast bowler Kemar Roach brought the curtain down on his County Championship stint with a superb five-wicket haul as Surrey earned a draw with Middlesex in an exciting finish to their contest Sunday.
Asked to chase 290 for victory on the final day of the rain-hit affair at the Oval, Middlesex made a fist of it thanks to Nick Gubbins’s 124, before ending on 250 for six in fading light.
With the visitors in the driver’s seat at 219 for two, the 32-year-old Roach claimed five for 86 with a telling burst which all but ended Middlesex’s victory bid.
The performance left Roach with a nine-wicket match haul following his first innings four for 61, and with 22 wickets from four matches.
Last month, he claimed a career-best eight-wicket haul in a ten-wicket match haul against Hampshire at the Oval.
Resuming the day on 135 without loss, Surrey lost Mark Stoneman without adding to his 74 but captain Rory Burns stroked an unbeaten 104 to get the hosts up to 259 for two declared in their second innings.
The left-handed Burns struck ten fours off 160 deliveries in a shade over four hours, putting on 71 for the second wicket with South African Hashim Amla (43) and 53 for the third wicket with Ollie Pope who blasted a 20-ball unbeaten 37.
Surrey then maintained the advantage when Roach worked over 21-year-old Jack Davies before having him brilliantly caught by Pope at gully for two at 18 for one.
Sam Robson followed for 32 to left-arm pacer Reece Topley to leave Middlsex on 47 for two but the left-handed Gubbins and captain Peter Handscomb (70) combined in a 172-run, third wicket partnership to turn the tide Middesex’s way.
Gubbins belted 13 fours and two sixes off 145 deliveries in just under 3-½ hours while Handscomb faced 94 balls and counted seven fours to end a wretched run of form.
Their efforts left Middlesex with 74 runs to win from 13 overs but a break for rain saw the equation tighten to 74 required from eight overs. Roach then put on display all his experience, getting Australian Handscomb to hole out to Pope at deep cover in the first over after the resumption before bowling wicketkeeper John Simpson for four in his next over.
The Barbadian struck the critical blow for Surrey when he claimed the all-important wicket of Gubbins, skying a full length delivery to Burns at deep cover at 243 for five, with 47 runs required from four overs.
With only four runs added, Roach bowled Martin Andersson off his pads for seven to complete his 17th five-wicket haul in first class cricket.
He is now expected to return to the Caribbean to prepare for the two-Test series against South Africa bowling off in St Lucia on June 10.
At Bristol, rain allowed only 32 deliveries on the final day but it was enough time for Kraigg Brathwaite’s Gloucestershire to crash to 27 for six in reply to Somerset’s 300 for eight declared.
Brathwaite, unbeaten overnight on 13 with his side on 16 for two, top-scored with 15 before he was fifth out with the score on 21.
At Trent Bridge, Alzarri Joseph tasted defeat when his Worcestershire slumped to a heavy innings and 170-run loss to Nottinghamshire.
Resuming on 53 for six in their first innings, Worcestershire were dismissed for 80 with seamer Luke Fletcher ending with seven for 37.
And following on by 320 runs, the visitors were rolled over for 150 with Fletcher picking up another three and fast bowler Dane Paterson claiming four for 49.
Joseph managed only four runs in each innings.
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