Middlesex suffered their fifth defeat in seven Friends Life t20 matches when they were beaten by four wickets by the Hampshire Royals with four balls to spare at Old Deer Park, Richmond.
Middlesex made two changes from the side that had defeated Kent at Canterbury the previous evening with Adam Rossington and Tim Murtagh coming in for Eoin Morgan and Steve Finn who had returned to theEnglandone-day squad.
After Hampshire won the toss and sent Middlesex into bat, their openers Joe Denly and Paul Stirling got them off to a good start with thirty-two runs coming off the first four overs. Six runs came off the first four balls of the fifth over before Denly was caught by Ervine at long-off for eight off Mascarenhas’s bowling.
Adam Rossington joined Paul Stirling who continued where he left off at Canterburyby despatching Wood for a six in the sixth over as Middlesex finished the power-play overs on 55-1. Only 28 runs came off the next five overs against the spin of Briggs and Dawson but Stirlingreached his fifty in the 11th over (off 32 balls, 2 sixes & 5 fours).
Stirlinghit Maxwell for six and with ten runs coming off the following over from Mascarenhas, Middlesex reached 101-1 after thirteen overs. However only two leg-byes came from the next over from Maxwell and when Rossington was bowled for 19 by Wood, Middlesex were 105-2 with only five overs remaining.
Five singles were scored off the 16th over but fourteen runs came off the 17th over with Dawid Malan hitting Wood from successive fours. Six singles came from Maxwell’s final over who finished with figures of 1-18 from four overs.
Malan then hit Wood for a four and a six in an over which also contained a wide delivery which went to the boundary. Ten runs came off the final over of the innings, bowled by Danny Briggs as the Middlesex innings closed on 156-2. Paul Stirling was 82 not out (off 64 balls, 3 sixes & 7 fours) with Dawid Malan 30 not out (off 16 balls, 1 six & 4 fours).
When Hampshire began their reply, Ollie Rayner and Tim Murtagh opened the bowling for Middlesex and conceded only a single each in their first over. Toby Roland-Jones replaced Rayner for the third over and after he conceded a four to Jimmy Adams, he hadAdamscaught by Dawid Malan at short mid-wicket for four.
Simon Katich joined Vince at the wicket but Middlesex enjoyed further success when Vince (7) drove Tim Murtagh straight to Neil Dexter at extra-cover. Sixteen runs came off Toby Roland-Jones’s second over with Katich pulling him for a six over backward square-leg.
Katich hit the first ball of Murtagh’s third over for a four and played the next ball down towards long-leg but McKenzie went for a third run and was beaten by Roland-Jones’ throw to the keeper and he was run out for seven, to add insult to injury, one of the runs was called as a short run. Sean Ervine joined Katich and he got off the mark with a three as Hampshire reached 44-3 after the power-play overs.
Twenty-six runs came off the next four overs bowled by Rayner and Stirlingbut Ervine scored eleven runs in Ollie Rayner’s final over as Hampshire reached 81-3 after eleven overs. Neil Dexter brought himself on to bowl at the Pagoda End but his solitary over cost eighteen runs with Ervine pulling him for two sixes over mid-wicket. Paul Stirling switched to the Town End with nine runs coming off the 13th over.
Gareth Berg replaced Dexter at the Pagoda End and he had Katich (40) caught by Joe Denly at long-off with his third delivery. Ervine reached a 34 ball fifty (2 sixes & 3 fours) in the following over from Paul Stirling who had Glen Maxwell (1) brilliantly caught by the diving Joe Denly fielding at long-leg. At the end of the over, the match was well balanced with the visitors on 117-5 after 15 overs.
Nine runs came off the 16th over, bowled by Gareth Berg before Toby Roland-Jones returned at the Town End and bowledDawson for nine with his first ball. Dimi Mascarenhas joined Ervine and after eight runs came off the remaining five balls of Roland-Jones’ over, Mascarenhas hit Berg for successive fours through the covers as twelve runs came off the over. With Ervine hitting Roland-Jones for a six in the penultimate over, only four runs were needed off the final over from Tim Murtagh and Ervine straight drove the second ball for a four to win the match.
Sean Ervine was the ‘man-of-the-match’ for his innings of 75 not out (off 51 balls, 3 sixes & 5 fours) with Mascarenhas 14 not out from eight balls. Ollie Rayner had figures of 0-23 from four overs, Paul Stirling 1-26 from four overs with Toby Roland-Jones taking 2-44 from his four overs.
Middlesex CCC are pleased to announce the following 13-man squad that will play against Hampshire Royals in their Friends Life t20 match at Old Deer Park, Richmond today, Wednesday 27 June:
Neil Dexter (captain)
Gates open at 4pm & the match will start at 5.30pm.
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £8 for over 65s and £5 for under 16s.
Tickets are still available to purchase on the gate on the day & will be available from gates opening at 4pm.
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