Mal Loye, one of the newcomers to England's preliminary 30-strong squad for the Champions' Trophy in India in October, scored yet another Liverpool Victoria County Championship century to give Lancashire an extra four bonus points on the fourth and final day of against Middlesex at Old Trafford.

Loye, who has scored six championship centuries and four in four matches, reached 107 to push Lancashire towards 362 in reply to the Middlesex first-innings total of 350 for nine declared.

Gary Keedy completed an early-morning haul of four for 126 to claim a third bowling bonus point.

There was a possibility of a contrived finish which would involve Lancashire forfeiting their first innings and Middlesex doing the same with their second.

But in the end, it was decided that a bonus points match would be the only outcome.

With points so crucial to both sides, umpires Jeremy Lloyds and John Steele must take great credit after allowing play to continue for much of the morning and afternoon sessions in light but persistent drizzle.

Lancashire's points haul takes them level with leaders Sussex, while Middlesex have moved off the bottom - Nottinghamshire are now at the foot - with their 11 points.

Middlesex have a one-day match against West Indies A at Uxbridge on Thursday before facing a vital relegation tussle with Yorkshire at Scarborough on Wednesday next week. Lancashire have a week to focus fully on Saturday's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy final against Sussex at Lord's.