Any lingering hopes Middlesex may have had of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Friends Life t20 competition were finally extinguished when they suffered their fourth defeat in five matches, under the Hove floodlights.
Neil Dexter lost the toss for Middlesex and for the fifth time, Middlesex had to bat second. The Panthers made one change from the side defeated byEssexat Lord’s the previous evening with Josh Davey coming in for the rested Chris Rogers.
Chris Nash and Luke Wright gave the hosts a good start scoring 34-0 from the first four overs before Nash hit Gareth Berg’s first delivery for a six. Berg however had his revenge, two balls later, when Nash was caught by Josh Davey at mid-off for 19. Machan joined Wright who took twelve runs off an Ollie Rayner over when he returned to bowl immediately after the end of the batting power-play.
Wright reached a 36 ball fifty in the 12th over of the innings (1 six & 4 fours) but Neil Dexter struck with the first ball of the next over when Machan was caught by Gareth Berg, off an attempted reverse sweep, for 22. Murray Goodwin joined Wright and the hundred came up in the 14th over. Fourteen runs came off Neil Dexter’s third over with Wright hitting him for a six.
The total reached 140-2 before Wright was dropped by Neil Dexter off Toby Roland-Jones off the last ball of the 18th over. Murray Goodwin holed out to Josh Davey at long-on for 18 as Berg conceded just four singles from the penultimate over of the innings. However, Scott Styris top-edged the second ball of the final over of the innings, bowled by Steven Crook, for six over third man and a total of fourteen runs were scored in the over before Luke Wright was caught by Dexter off the last ball of the innings.
Wright was out for 91 (off 61 balls, 2 sixes & 7 fours) as the Sussex innings closed on 161-4; Gareth Berg had figures of 2-20 from 3 overs, Neil Dexter 1-29 from 3 overs, Steven Crook 1-30 from 3 overs, Tom Smith 0-24 from 4 overs, Toby Roland-Jones 0-32 from 4 overs and Ollie Rayner 0-23 from 3 overs.
Joe Denly opened the Middlesex innings with John Simpson and Denly hit the first ball of the innings from Scott Styris for four with a fine cover drive. However Styris missed a relatively straight forward caught and bowled chance offered by Denly off the fifth ball. Denly hit Amjad Khan for two fours in the second over and with John Simpson hitting two boundaries, Middlesex reached 39-0 after the six power-play overs.
With eleven runs coming off Michael Yardy’s first over, the Panthers reached 50-0 after seven overs but Middlesex lost their first wicket in the 10th over when Joe Denly was disappointed when he only managed to locate Joe Gatting on the mid-wicket boundary and was caught for 36 (off 34 balls) to leave Middlesex on 62-1.
Steven Crook was promoted up the order to give the innings further impetus but John Simpson hit Yardy for a six before being caught on the mid-wicket by Gatting off the next ball for 32 (off 27 balls). Crook pulled Beer for a huge six over backward square-leg and scored nineteen off 13 balls before he swung across the line and was bowled by Yardy to leave Middlesex on 98-2 in the 14th over.
Adam Rossington joined Dawid Malan at the wicket but he managed only a single before he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Machan off Scott Styris’s bowling. Fifty-six runs were needed off the final five overs but Middlesex lost their fifth wicket in Beer’s final over when Neil Dexter (1) gave Joe Gatting a third catch on the mid-wicket boundary.
Dawid Malan was missed by wicket-keeper Brown off Amjad Khan but Malan was out in the penultimate over when Nash took a stunning one-handed diving catch at mid-wicket to dismiss him for 25 (off 23 balls). With 34 runs needed off ten balls, the game was as good as over and Gareth Berg and Ollie Rayner took Middlesex to 140-6 as the Panthers went down by 21 runs. Gareth Berg was 10 not out (off 15 balls) with Ollie Rayner 6 not out; Middlesex hit only one six during their innings.
Will Beer had figures of 2-26 from 4 overs, Michael Yardy 2-30 from 4 overs, Scott Styris 1-24 from four overs and Chris Liddle 1-23 from 3 overs.
Chris Rogers has been replaced in Middlesex Panthers T20 squad by Adam London for tonight's game against Sussex at Hove.
Rogers, who is currently Middlesex's LV=CC captain, has had a busy start to the 2012 English Domestic season, which began immediately after a full Sheffield Shield season with Victoria in Australia, and is feeling physically fatigued. With Middlesex CCC having an extremely busy schedule from the middle of July onwards it is felt that a period of rest would best benefit him and the club in the long run.
Middlesex CCC have named the following 14-man squad to play in their Friends Life t20 match against Sussex Sharks at Hove this evening, Friday 22 June, starting at 7.10pm:
Neil Dexter (captain)
Middlesex Panthers still have two final home Friends Life t20 matches at Richmond (v Hampshire) on Wednesday 27 June & at Uxbridge (v Kent) on Sunday 8 July. £15 for Adults, £8 for over 65s & £5 for under 16s. FREE for Middlesex Members. CLICK HERE to buy tickets online.
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.