THE weather is frustrating Durham again. Needing 130 to win in 45 overs they had reached 8-0 in the third when rain arrived and it doesn't look like being a short shower.

When Graham Onions took two wickets in the first over after lunch his figures read 13-8-9-4 and Middlesex were 91 for eight, only 41 ahead.

A Durham win looked a formality, but Tim Murtagh began by carving Onions over point for four and hit seven more boundaries as the support bowling was found wanting.

The edges which had accounted for 14 of the 18 Middlesex wickets stopped coming as Murtagh either middled the ball or missed it in contributing 45 off 50 balls to a stand of 82 with John Simpson.

Phil Mustard persisted with Mitch Claydon, who finally snared Murtagh with a poor leg-side ball, which the left-hander gloved to Mustard - his fourth catch of the day.

Simepon, the left-handed wicketkeeper looked a tidy performer in following his unbeaten 25 in the first innings by reaching 47 before he had a big heave at Scott Borthwick and was bowled.

Middlesex were all out for 179, but had it not been for that ninth-wicket stand Durham could have been home and dry.