Defending English county champions Middlesex suffer relegation after loss to Somerset

Middlesex's Australian captain Adam Voges conceded his team had been outplayed but was not impressed by the state of the pitch.

AFP, September 29, 2017

London: Middlesex suffered the humiliation of being relegated just a year after being crowned English county champions on Thursday.

Middlesex collapsed in limp fashion in their final match of the season with last year's runners-up Somerset, who were also battling to avoid relegation, as they skittled out for just 113 to lose by 231 runs.

Hampshire's draw with Warwickshire sealed Middlesex's fate although the state of the Taunton pitch may still hold a glimmer of hope for them.

Representative image. Getty Images

Representative image. Getty Images

Although it received a rating of 'below average' after the match, which does not carry a points deduction, investigations are to continue to see whether it overly favoured the hosts' spinners.

"There's going to be an investigation tomorrow. Phil Whitticase, another CLO, comes in. He'll conduct an investigation and he will go through my findings and speak to both umpires, both captains and the groundstaff," said ECB cricket liaison officer (CLO) Wayne Noon.

"He could downgrade it, he could upgrade it, that's entirely up to him. He looks at the evidence and he makes his own call."

Middlesex's Australian captain Adam Voges conceded his team had been outplayed but was not impressed by the state of the pitch.

"We came here knowing we would face a pitch that helped Somerset's spinners because every team in the world prepares wickets to aid their strengths, but there needs to be line which teams can't cross," said Voges.

"Whether Somerset have crossed that line for this match is for the match referee to decide. I have certainly let him know my thoughts.

"What we didn't expect was rake marks at both ends that were encroaching into danger areas on what was already a worn pitch. That was a surprise.

"I'll admit we have been comfortably outplayed over the four days. The ECB directive is that a pitch cannot be marked poor simply for excessive spin."

Moving in the opposite direction are Worcestershire as champions of the second tier and Nottinghamshire, who completed a terrific season, having won both the limited-over competitions.

Updated Date: Sep 29, 2017

Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4397 116
2 England 5310 108
3 South Africa 3712 106
4 New Zealand 2834 105
5 Australia 3663 102
6 Sri Lanka 3888 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6918 126
2 India 7000 121
3 New Zealand 4803 112
4 South Africa 4985 111
5 Pakistan 4370 102
6 Australia 3980 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 4979 138
2 India 5298 126
3 England 2586 118
4 Australia 3266 117
5 South Africa 2502 114
6 New Zealand 2803 112