Managing Director of Cricket gives us his analyis of the Middlesex Panthers first three Friends Life t20 matches against Surrey & Sussex at Lord's, and against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl:
With the blink of an eye we are suddenly three matches in to our 2012 Friends Life t20 campaign and what have we gleamed from our initial outings. I believe we have played some reasonably decent cricket so far. Yes, we lost our first two matches but even in those games there were good things to come out. The performance in the third match against Hampshire was outstanding.
In the Surrey match I believe we were in control for 23 of the 36 overs that were bowled. The fact that we lost shows how quickly things can go wrong in T20 cricket. Against Sussex we again did well to restrict our opponents to under a total of 150 but, sadly, lost out right at the death.
In each of the matches we have been very good during the ‘Powerplays’. Middlesex’s coaches, Richard Scott and Richard Johnson, devised a bowling order and so far it has worked well. In each game we have taken early wickets and the by-product of this is a delay in when the opposition can throw caution to the wind and recklessly go for boundaries. In each game our opponents – Spriegel and Wilson for Surrey, Goodwin and Styris for Sussex – regrouped well. Each pair got themselves in, built partnerships before taking the game to us. We need to be able to do the same when we find ourselves in similar positions.
Against Surrey we fell away dramatically after Dawid Malan and Paul Stirling gave us a good start. With an eye on incoming bad weather and the Duckworth/Lewis total we required to win we got a bit panicky and it cost us. In the Sussex game we were perhaps a little too slow after our ‘Powerplay’ and allowed the run-rate to go up too high. Neil Dexter and Gareth Berg got us back i to contention before Sussex’s Liddle bowled an excellent over to end our chances.
The batting against Hampshire was very good. Led by Malan and Stirling we made short work of the 158 we required, winning comfortably with four balls to spare. The game was overshadowed by the tragic death of Tom Maynard and every person associated with the club would like to send their love and thoughts to Tom’s family.
Toby Roland-Jones has thrived in this seasons T20. He is enjoying the new challenges that T20 offer and showing how diverse a bowler he is. Had Lasith Malinga come Roland-Jones may not have played so it is good that he is benefitting from the situation.
Unfortunately Middlesex Panthers will lose the services of Stirling and Tim Murtagh for the next two T20 games. A squad for these matches will be announced on Wednesday.
To keep up to date with Middlesex County Cricket Club news and updates! Click here to visit our page or click the like button below to like us.