Middlesex ventured out of the county to play Yorkshire in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition. A crowd of some 2,000 travelled to the delightful Radlett Cricket Club ground in Hertfordshire to see Middlesex record their first win in the league with a comprehensive six wicket win over the Yorkshire Vikings with 26 balls to spare.
Middlesex welcomed back Eoin Morgan to the team with Ollie Rayner replacing Tom Smith and Adam Rossington coming in for John Simpson who was rested, as was Chris Rogers. After Andrew Gale won the toss for the Vikings, he opened the batting with Richard Pyrah and scored a four and a three in the opening over of the innings from Toby Roland-Jones. However in Roland-Jones’ next over, Gale top-edged a pull shot and Eoin Morgan took the catch at cover point to dismiss Gale for seven.
Yorkshire lost their second wicket in Roland-Jones’ next over when Pyrah was caught by Joe Denly on the mid-wicket boundary for six to reduce Yorkshire to 18-2. Garry Balance joined Australian Phil Jaques at the wicket and they set about repairing the damage, bringing up the Yorkshire fifty in the 13th over. Balance, who has been in fine form for the Vikings in this competition, then set about the bowling, hitting Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh for sixes in successive overs. He also hit Ollie Rayner for a six and brought up the Yorkshire hundred in the 21st over with a six off Gareth Berg.
However, with his next delivery, Berg had his revenge when he had Balance caught by Stirling at mid-on for 34 (off 42 balls). Adam Lyth joined Jaques at the wicket who reached a 68 ball fifty (5 fours) in the 24th over. Jaques then went into over-drive by hitting Berg for three successive fours and the pair took the Vikings to 153-3 after 28 overs.
James Harris, who had returned to the attack at the Pavilion End, then struck twice in an over by removing Lyth (14) who was well caught by ‘keeper Adam Rossington, who was standing up at the wicket, Three balls later, Harris had Jaques caught by Eoin Morgan at cover-point for a splendid innings of 81 (off 86 balls, 10 fours). Andrew Hodd joined Adil Rashid at the wicket and they took the Yorkshire total to 172-5 after 32 overs at which point, the batting power-play was taken.
A further 34 runs were added before Toby Roland-Jones bowled Hodd for 21, in the last over of the power-play. Tim Bresnan was unable to score a run off the remaining three balls of the over and in the next over, Bresnan was caught at mid-off by Paul Stirling for a duck to give James Harris a wicket. Rashid hit two fours off Roland-Jones in the 38th over of the innings and after seven runs came off the following over from Tim Murtagh, Yorkshire were 227-7.
Will Rhodes hit the third ball of the final over for a four but off the next delivery, Rhodes was caught by Neil Dexter at extra-cover for ten. Rashid scored three runs off the last two balls of Roland-Jones’ over to finish on 40 not out in a Yorkshire total of 236-8. Toby Roland-Jones finished with figures of 4-44 in 8 overs with James Harris taking 3-54 in 8 overs.
In reply, Middlesex lost Paul Stirling to the second ball of the innings when he was yorked by Iain Wardlaw for a duck. Joe Denly joined Dawid Malan at the wicket and he began well by hitting four fours in the first thirteen balls faced. After the first eight mandatory power-play overs, Middlesex reached 46-1 and Malan and Denly added a further nineteen runs before Denly was bowled by Pyrah for 38, off the last ball of the 11th over. After Malan scored a single off Rashid, Eoin Morgan attempted a reverse sweep off the first ball he faced but missed and was LBW to Rashid for a duck.
Adam Rossington joined Malan with the score on 65-3 and the pair brought up the Middlesex hundred in the 19th over. Dawid Malan reached a 59 ball fifty (5 fours) in the 22nd over of the innings and in the next over, he hit Rhodes for a six. Malan then hit Rashid for successive fours before hitting Ashraf for a six. With thirteen runs coming off a Pyrah over, Middlesex reached 179-3 after 27 overs. Rossington, who several times lofted the ball between fielders in the deep, reached a 49 ball fifty with his fifth four and with Malan brought up the two hundred in the 30th over.
However, just when it looked as though Malan would get a well-deserved hundred, he got an edge to a Bresnan delivery and he was caught at the wicket for 96 (off 88 balls, 2 sixes & 10 fours). Neil Dexter joined Rossington with just 36 runs needed off nine overs and the pair saw Middlesex home by six wickets with 26 balls to spare; the batting power-play was not even taken. Rossington finished with 79 not out from 72 balls (8 fours), with Neil Dexter on 15 not out.
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