Middlesex’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Friends Life t20 competition were finally extinguished when they put up a brave performance against defending champions Hampshire at the Rose Bowl before going down by eight runs. With Surrey defeating Essex at Chelmsford, a win for Middlesex would have seen them through to the quarter-finals but they left themselves with too much to do after Hampshire scored an imposing total of 190-3 from their twenty overs.
Middlesex made one change to the side beaten by Surrey at Lord’s last week with Ollie Rayner returning to the team in place of Gurjit Sandhu. After Mascarenhas won the toss for Hampshire and elected to bat first, Middlesex took an early wicket when Michael Carberry was caught by Neil Dexter at mid-on, off Kyle Mills bowling for five. Jimmy Adams joined James Vince and he scored three fours off the remaining four balls of Mills’ over.
Joe Denly missed a chance offered by Vince at square-leg off Gareth Berg’s bowling and that proved costly with Vince hitting Berg for three successive fours in his following over which went for a total of eighteen runs as Hampshire reached 57-1 after five overs. Kyle Mills then returned at the Pavilion End and he had Vince well caught by Neil Dexter at mid-off for 28 (off 17 balls). Five runs came off the remainder of Mills’ over as Hampshire reached 62-2 after the six powerplay overs.
Ollie Rayner, who had bowled the opening over at the Northern End, returned to bowl with Ravi Patel coming on to form an all-spin attack. Only thirteen runs came off the next three overs but Adams hit Patel for a six, and fourteen runs came off Patel’s second over as Hampshire reached 89-2 at the halfway point.
Ollie Rayner then struck when he had Adams LBW, attempting a sweep shot, for 43 (off 29 balls). Sean Ervine joined McKenzie and the pair managed only two singles off the remainder of Rayner’s over, Rayner finishing his four overs with figures of 1-16. Only four singles were scored in Adam Voges first over but twelve runs came in the next over, bowled by Neil Dexter, with Ervine hitting him for a six. Eleven runs came off Voges’ second over before Dexter conceded nineteen runs in his following over with Ervine hitting him for two sixes, the second off a no-ball.
Ravi Patel returned to the attack to bowl the sixteenth over with Hampshire on 137-3 but he conceded twelve runs in the over with Ervine hitting his fourth six. Eleven runs came off the following over from Gareth Berg and Ervine reached a 26 ball fifty which contained sixes and three fours, in the next over from Mills. Ervine and McKenzie took their partnership to 101 in 9.5 overs as Hampshire reached 190-3 from their twenty overs with Ervine finishing on 60 not out (off 33 balls) and McKenzie 47 not out (off 37 balls); Kyle Mills had figures of 2-40 from his four overs.
Paul Stirling got Middlesex off to a good start with ten runs coming off the opening over of the innings from Mascarenhas. Four runs came off the second over from Wood before Stirling hit the first ball of the third over for a six over backward point, a total of fifteen runs coming in the over from Mascarenhas. Ten runs came off the first five balls of Wood’s second over before Stirling was caught at mid-off by substitute fielder Rouse for 24 (off 13 balls).
Adam Rossington joined Dawid Malan at the wicket but after five runs came off the next over from Mascarenhas, Rossington was out for a third ball duck when he was caught on the third man boundary by Briggs. When Griffiths had Malan caught down the leg-side by ‘keeper Adam Wheater for sixteen two balls later, Middlesex were 46-3. Eoin Morgan joined Joe Denly with the asking rate just over ten runs per over. Eight runs came off the next over from Mascarenhas, who bowled his four overs straight through to finish with figures of 0-38.
Six runs came off Griffith’s second over before Morgan pulled Briggs for a six with a total of twelve runs coming from the over. Only five runs came off Liam Dawson’s first over as the Panthers reached 78-3 at the halfway point of the innings. The hundred came up in the twelfth over but Middlesex lost Morgan in the following over when he chipped a Danny Briggs’ delivery straight to Jimmy Adams at short mid-on, Morgan having made 29 (off 24 balls).
Adam Voges joined Denly with the total on 104-4 and he got off the mark with a four off the first ball he faced. However, only eleven runs came off the next two overs and after Voges scored a two off the first ball of Dawson’s third over, he was lured down the track to the next ball and was stumped by Wheater for nine. After Neil Dexter got off the mark with a single, Joe Denly took twelve runs off the remaining three balls of Dawson’s over to leave Middlesex needing a further 57 runs in only four overs.
Ten runs came off the seventeenth over but after Denly scored a single off the first ball of the next over, Dexter hit Wood for a four and a six before he fell to a superb catch by Liam Dawson at extra-cover, having made sixteen. Gareth Berg joined Denly and after three runs came off the remainder of the over, Middlesex were left needing 33 runs off the last two overs. Denly hit the first ball of the 19th over for a six to reach a 37 ball fifty (2 sixes & 2 fours) and after four runs came off the next four balls, Denly hit the last ball of Griffiths’ over for a straight six to leave seventeen runs needed off the final over.
Only three singles were scored off the first three balls of Wood’s over before Denly hit the fourth ball for a four. Needing ten runs off the last two balls of the match to win, Denly was caught at the wicket for a defiant innings of 67 (off 44 balls, 3 sixes & 3 fours) and Ollie Rayner scored a single off the last ball of the match as Middlesex ended on 182-7. Chris Wood had figures of 3-31 from his four overs with David Griffiths taking 2-34 in four overs, Danny Briggs 1-37 in four overs and Liam Dawson 1-34 in four overs.
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