Middlesex pass 600 in draw with Sussex

Vitality County Championship Division Two, Lord's (day four)

Sussex 554-9 dec: Simpson 176, Pujara 129; Bamber 3-114

Middlesex 613-9 dec: Robson 136, Higgins 106, Fernandes 91; Carson 4-166

Middlesex (12 pts) drew with Sussex (13 pts)

Match scorecard

Division Two promotion front-runners Middlesex and Sussex saw their County Championship match at Lord's peter out into a draw.

A stalemate looked inevitable once the home side had avoided the follow-on early on the final day and they went on to post 613-9 declared in reply to Sussex's total of 554-9.

Nathan Fernandes missed out on a century by nine runs, while Jack Davies struck a career-best 68 and Henry Brookes registered his first half-century as a Middlesex player, with off-spinner Jack Carson taking 4-166.

Captains Leus du Plooy and John Simpson shook hands at 4.50pm, with the draw enabling Sussex to increase their advantage at the top to eight points over Middlesex, who remain in second place.

Any faint prospect of a positive outcome essentially disappeared in the third over of the morning, when Fernandes clipped Fynn Hudson-Prentice for two to steer Middlesex past the follow-on target of 405.

With their over rate in negative territory the previous evening, Sussex were soon utilising spin at both ends and the seventh-wicket pair continued to chip away at the deficit as they built a partnership of 119.

Having swept Carson over the short boundary for six, Davies overtook his previous best of 65, but added just three more before he was out in the off-spinner's next over to a ball that turned away from him and took the edge.

Fernandes took his side's total beyond 500 and moved within range of what would have been a second first-class century, but he was caught in the deep off Tom Clark for 91.

The remainder of the afternoon largely involved batting practice for the Middlesex tail, with Sussex deploying nine bowlers and at one stage setting a field with all nine men ranged in a semi-circle on the off side.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network