A rare event occurred at MTS this week, we actually managed to complete a game of cricket this year. Possibly the first one. I should know, but am trying to blank out what has been a thoroughly depressing first half of the season weather wise.
In fact how the guys out in the middle are managing to string any sort of meaningful performances together is quite amazing. It was therefore very pleasing when we not only managed to beat a good looking Hampshire side, but also introduce two debutants to the 2s and witnessed some fine individual performances.
Having been asked to field, after (with no surprise) we lost the toss – this season Tom Scollay is winning just 18% of tosses – it was up to our bowlers to get amongst the wickets and set up a chance of winning – not always easy in the three day format.
Step forward Ravi Patel (more of him later), Gurjit Sandhu and the imposing presence of Corey Collymore. Sharing 9 wickets equally between them, we managed to dismiss the visitors for exactly 250 in 91 overs, with Ravi taking charge of an End and producing 3–48 off 21 overs.
With the last session of the day lost to rain and light, our batting attack needed to do just that on day 2. Tom Scollay was out early, leaving Sam Robson at the crease to be joined there by Adam London. Both played chancelessly for the next couple of sessions putting on exactly 100 runs for their partnership before Robson exited having been bowled. Returning from University came Andrew Balbirnie (31 not out) who set about the bowlers with gusto and pushed the score onto 161 with the help of London who was on 64 when we declared leaving Hants a nervy hour before close of day 2.
Quick wickets were needed to produce positive result. Step forward the magnificent Patel, who carried on his 1st innings performance to bamboozle the opposition finishing with 5-29 off 13.4 overs. This was just what the team needed and left us with 2 sessions to chase down the 204 difference between the sides.
Nick Gubbins, called up from the Academy group, was asked to open on debut. He didn’t disappoint. Other than an understandably nervy 1st over and an equally understandable nervous 40s he batted well beyond his years to record a great 71 before being caught out on the backward square leg boundary trying to pummel one of the Hants quickies for 6. With Tom Scollay providing a solid 91* at the other end, we moved fairly effortlessly to a 7 wicket win with an hour left.
Overall a very strong performance from the 2nd XI, really showing the depth that Middlesex has throug out its contracted and academy players.
Middlesex 2nd XI take on Hampshire 2nd XI in the 2nd XI championship starting today Tuesday 26 June at Merchant Taylors' School and are pleased to announce the following team;
Scollay (Captain), Robson, London (wk), Balbirnie, Davey, Gubbins, Sandhu, Ireland, Helm, Podmore, Patel.
The match starts at 11am. A live scoreboard can be found via http://www.middlesexccc.com/live-scores
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