Hampshire captain pleased with incredible effort against Middlesex
Hampshire were denied the chance to complete a second victory as Middlesex dug in for the draw but captain James Vince was happy with a strong team display.
The home side had the defending champions in defensive mode at the Ageas Bowl.
But Middlesex tail-enders Toby Roland-Jones, Ollie Rayner and Tim Murtagh saved them from defeat in the County Championship clash as they declared for the draw on 278 for nine.
Hampshire had looked set to ease to victory after three wickets with the second new ball but the visitors held on.
Both sides took 10 points and Hampshire remain unbeaten after beating Yorkshire in their first match.
Captain Vince was impressed with the team performance and praised the bowlers for their work after the injury to Fidel Edwards.
He said: ‘The way the guys fought back after they were 220 for two in the first innings to be in a position to being really close to being able to chase a gettable score on that wicket is an incredible effort.
‘Especially incredible from the bowlers after losing Fidel pretty early and putting in the shift they did was outstanding to get us into that position.
‘Like on any wicket, but more so on that wicket, there wasn’t much on offer when the ball was a bit older.
‘That new ball did exactly what we wanted and we were one wicket away from setting up about a 150 chase off around 40 overs.
‘Last week’s win set this up but to back it up and be on top there from tea on day one against the defending champions is a great effort.’
Middlesex had defended throughout the fourth day, after starting it with a slender lead of 27, with six wickets in hand.
Adam Vogues made 92 as he frustrated Hampshire.
But the new ball saw him off chasing Kyle Abbott on the cut to edge behind.
Only two more runs were scored before James Franklin clipped Abbott to Jimmy Adams at second slip with a delightful delivery.
Gareth Berg pulled out the delivery of the day when he managed to get one to spit off a length to send John Simpson back caught behind just five balls later.
But that is where the game ended as a contest.
If Hampshire had taken the last wicket quickly there was still time for a thrilling chase but it wasn’t to be.
Abbott took five wickets for 59 to add to his impressive performance at Headingley.