Middlesex’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40 over competition were virtually extinguished when Worcestershire keeper Ben Scott scored an unlikely 23 runs off the final over of the match at Uxbridge to tie the game.
After getting a four via an inside edge to fine-leg off the first ball of Steven Crook’s over, Scott struck sixes off the second, third and fifth balls to leave just two runs needed for victory off the last ball of the match. Scott drove the last ball uppishly and Neil Dexter, fielding at short mid-on, was unable to take the difficult chance and his throw at the bowlers’ end stumps missed and Scott was home for a single to tie the match.
Earlier, rain had prevented any play until 2.30pm which resulted in the match being reduced to 36 overs per side. After Worcestershire won the toss and invited Middlesex to bat first, Middlesex made a slow start, scoring just twenty runs off the first power-play of seven overs for the loss of Dawid Malan who was caught at the wicket for three.
Joe Denly gave the innings impetus, hitting three fours plus a six off, off Moeen Ali, before Chris Rogers (12) top-edged a sweep and Andrew took the catch at short fine-leg. Denly hit Gareth Andrew for a four but he edged the following delivery and Solanki took the catch at second slip to dismiss him for 27. Neil Dexter joined Eoin Morgan and the pair took Middlesex to 67-3 before Dexter called for a single but having been sent back by Morgan, he was run out for six by Solanki’s direct hit on the stumps at the striker’s end.
Josh Davey, making his first appearance of the season for Middlesex, having previously played on loan to Scotland in the competition, joined Morgan. Davey was the perfect foil for Morgan, with good running between the wickets; Middlesex reached 80-4 after 19 overs before Morgan hit the first of his six sixes, off Daryl Mitchell. Morgan reached a 45 ball fifty with a six off Moeen Ali over mid-wicket as Middlesex reached 128-4 after 26 overs.
The pair took Middlesex to 165-4 before the three over batting power-play was taken. Morgan hit Harrison for successive sixes in the first over of the power-play and Josh Davey scored seven off the second over from Jack Shantry before Morgan took eighteen runs off the final power-play over from Gareth Andrew to reach a 73 ball hundred (5 sixes & 9 fours).
Josh Davey reached his fifty in the penultimate over (off 53 balls, 3 fours) before Morgan hit Shantry for his sixth six. With ten runs coming off the final over of the innings, Middlesex reached a total of 229-4 with Morgan and Davey having established a new Middlesex one-day fifth wicket partnership of 162. Eoin Morgan was 120 not out off just 80 balls (6 sixes & 11 fours) with Josh Davey 53 not out (off 56 balls, 3 fours).
In reply, Worcestershire lost Solanki for three in the third over of the innings, when he was bowled by Crook. Twelve runs came off the fourth over, bowled by Toby Roland-Jones before Crook struck again when Moeen Ali was caught by Tom Smith at deep square-leg for twelve. Daryl Mitchell joined Australian Phil Hughes but the pair were kept in check by the Middlesex attack and the visitors had only reached 56-2 after sixteen overs.
Hughes then put his foot on the gas by taking successive fours off Josh Davey and hitting Gareth Berg for a four and a six in the 18th over. Hughes hit a six in Tom Smith’s first over and he reached a run-a-ball fifty (2 sixes & 4 fours) in the 20th over as the visitors reached 92-2. Twelve runs came off Tom Smith’s second over with Hughes hitting him for a further six before ten runs came off the following over from Neil Dexter.
The total had reached 114-2 after 22 overs at which point Toby Roland-Jones returned to the attack and bowled Mitchell for 35. Gareth Andrew, with his distinctive Mongoose bat, joined Hughes and the pair took Worcestershire to 144-3 in the 27th over before Phil Hughes was bowled, off an inside-edge, by Josh Davey for 69 (off 64 balls).
Gareth Andrew gave the visitors’ hope by plundering forty-two off 32 balls before he was caught by Eoin Morgan at mid-off, from Roland-Jones’ bowling to leave Worcestershire on 173-5 in the 31st over. Josh Davey returned to have Neil Pinner (14) excellently caught by Chris Rogers, running in from long-off to take the catch. Ben Scott joined Pardoe at the wicket with Worcestershire needing 41 runs to win with just 19 balls remaining.
Eight runs came off the 34th over, bowled by Neil Dexter and five runs came off the first three balls of Toby Roland-Jones’ over before Pardoe was caught at deep mid-wicket by Neil Dexter for sixteen. Ben Scott scored a single off the next ball before Brett D’Oliveira got off the mark with a two off the last ball of the over. Then came the extra-ordinary last over which left the match tied with Ben Scott finishing on 29 not out from 11 balls. Toby Roland-Jones had figures of 2-39 from 8 overs, Steven Crook 2-39 from 7 overs and Josh Davey 2-35 from 6 overs.
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It's all to play for in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition for the Middlesex Panthers as they look to win their final two group matches in order to give them a chance of reaching the semi finals.
This includes tomorrow's match against Worcestershire Royals at Uxbridge Cricket Club and our final home CB40 match against Essex Eagles at Lord's on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August.
Paul Stirling will unfortunately miss out on this fixture after sustaining an injury to his shoulder during a 2nd XI match a couple of weeks ago. We are expecting that he will return to fitness in a couple of weeks.
Middlesex CCC are pleased to announce the following 13-man squad to play in this CB40 match against the Royals at Uxbridge tomorrow, starting at 1.45pm:
Neil Dexter (captain)
Gates open at 12.15pm & match starts at 1.45pm
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £8 for over 65s & £5 for under 16s. Tickets can be purchased on the gate on the day.
U15s must be accompanied by an adult.
Parking: £5 for non-members, £3 for Middlesex members.
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