Middlesex disappointingly lost the opening match of their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign when they suffered a 26 run defeat at Lord’s. A brilliant hundred by Australian Marcus North, with good support from Jim Allenby, saw Glamorgan score a massive 280-3 from their forty overs. With the new fielding restrictions in place, scores are likely to be higher than in previous years, but North and Allenby doubled the Glamorgan total by scoring 141 runs in the last fourteen overs, including 60 runs in the last five overs. After losing their first four wickets in reaching 115 at the halfway point of their innings, Middlesex fell short despite a valiant innings of 75 from Gareth Berg.
Neil Dexter won the toss for the Panthers and invited Glamorgan to bat first on a glorious Spring Bank Holiday Monday, watched by a sizable crowd and in front of the Sky TV cameras. Will Bragg got the visitors off to a flying start by scoring 31 out of an opening partnership of 38 in the first seven overs. At this point, Toby Roland-Jones had Wallace well caught by Dawid Malan at first slip for seven and Joe Denly ran out Cooke for a duck with a direct hit on the bowlers’ end stumps.
North joined Bragg and the pair increased the scoring rate against the change bowling of Paul Stirling and Gareth Berg. North was particularly severe on Stirling, hitting him for four fours as he conceded 25 runs in four overs. Bragg reached a 53 ball fifty in the 18th over (6 fours) and North reached his in the 23rd over (off 47 balls, 7 fours). The total reached 123-2 after 23 overs before Bragg hit a Josh Davey delivery straight to Tom Smith at backward point to be dismissed for 62. Jim Allenby joined Marcus North and with good running between the wickets, the pair scored off virtually every ball in the remainder of the innings. Tom Smith conceded 37 runs in four overs and Neil Dexter 25 in three overs as the visitors reached 192-3 after 32 overs.
North reached an 81 ball hundred in the 34th over (1 six & 12 fours) and the total reached 228-3 when the power-play was taken in the last four overs of the innings. Allenby reached his fifty in the first over of the power-play (off just 39 balls,1 six & 3 fours) and with North, the pair plundered 52 runs in the power-play to reach a massive total of 280-3. North was 137 not out (off 98 balls, 3 sixes & 16 fours) with Allenby 69 not out (off 50 balls, 1 six & 5 fours). All of the Middlesex bowlers suffered in the onslaught but Gareth Berg go off lightly, conceding 29 runs in six overs.
Chris Rogers opened the Middlesex batting with Dawid Malan and the pair got Middlesex off to a good start by putting on 42 in the first six overs before Rogers was out for 22 when he was caught by Goodwin at deep extra-cover off Jim Allenby’s bowling. Paul Stirling joined Malan and the pair took the Panthers to 74-1 after twelve overs at which point Dean Cosker came on to bowl his left-arm spin at the Nursery End. Malan should have been stumped by ‘keeper Mark Wallace off the last ball of Cosker’s over but it did not cost them any further runs as Malan hit a Will Owen delivery straight to Cosker at cover to be dismissed for 35.
Paul Stirling scored ten runs in Owen’s second over and eight runs came in Owen’s next over before Joe Denly was caught at the wicket for 11, off the last ball of the over. Owen struck again in his fourth over when he bowled Paul Stirling for 36 to leave Middlesex on 110-4 in the 20th over. Gareth Berg joined Neil Dexter at the wicket and after Berg was dropped by Reed at backward short leg when he had made just six, the pair accelerated the scoring rate by taking Middlesex to 170-5 before Dexter was caught at deep cover by Cooke for 24 to give Hogan a wicket.
John Simpson scored only a single before he hit a Wagg delivery straight to Reed at deep mid-off. Josh Davey joined Berg who went to his fifty with a powerful straight drive for six off Allenby’s bowling (off 40 balls, 1 six & 4 fours). Owen returned at the Nursery End as Middlesex took their batting power-play with their score on 189-6 after 32 overs. Fourteen runs came off the over with Berg hitting a straight six and a four. However, Middlesex lost Josh Davey in the following over when he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Cooke, off Allenby’s bowling for five.
Toby Roland-Jones joined Berg at the wicket but they were unable to find the boundary in the remaining 15 balls of the power-play overs. Fifty-six runs were needed off the last four overs but Roland-Jones was caught by North at deep mid-off, from the first ball of the 37th over, bowled by Hogan. Tom Smith joined Berg but with only six runs coming off the remainder of Hogan’s over the match was over. Gareth Berg’s fine effort ended when he was bowled by Hogan for 75 off the last ball of the 39th over, Berg making his runs off just 57 balls (2 sixes & 6 fours). Corey Collymore and Tom Smith scored six runs in the final over as Middlesex finished on 254-9.
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