RAIN prevented any play on day four in Middlesex’s County Championship Division One match against Lancashire at Lord’s, and it was abandoned as a draw in mid-afternoon.

Middlesex were due to resume their first innings on 419-5 in reply to Lancashire’s 513, with Nick Gubbins on 201 not out and Paul Stirling unbeaten on two, but the weather had the final say.

Middlesex take 11 points, lifting them into third place in the first division, while top-of-the-table Lancashire increase their lead over second-placed Yorkshire by taking nine points from this game.

The match would almost certainly have ended in a draw even if there had been a full day’s play and Ashley Giles, Lancashire’s head coach, said: “That was the flattest wicket we have played on this year.

“We were heading for a draw here anyway and, overall, we’ve got something out of the match.

"We’ll move on and, with the division very bunched up due to all the weather-affected games we’ve had this season, it looks like being an exciting championship run-in.”

Lancashire’s 19-year-old leg spinner Matt Parkinson, who took 5-49 on his first-class debut last week, against Warwickshire at Old Trafford, had a much tougher time with figures of 1-110 from his 26 overs in Middlesex’s innings.

Giles added: “It’s the first time Matt has ever played at Lord’s. To play here in his second first-class game is great experience for him and, on a flat pitch like this one, the margin for error is so much less.

“If he is to go on and play at the highest level – and I know he has aspirations to do so – then he’s got to learn how to bowl on flat surfaces like we’ve had in this game.”