Middlesex’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition were extinguished when they suffered an 11 run defeat in a rain shortened match under the SWALEC stadium floodlights in Cardiff. After the match was reduced to 25 overs per side, Middlesex restricted the hosts to 153-9 on a fast wicket, bouncy wicket that gave the bowlers encouragement. However, Middlesex slumped to 32-5 in the seventh over and although Neil Dexter and John Simpson led a recovery by adding 59 runs for the sixth wicket, the task was beyond them.
Middlesex omitted Gareth Berg and Ravi Patel from the thirteen man squad for the match and after Neil Dexter won the toss for the Panthers, he asked Glamorgan to bat first. Gareth Rees top-edged the second ball of the innings from Steve Finn for a six over the ‘keepers’ head and with Mark Wallace, took Glamorgan to 25-0 before Wallace (13) was out to the last ball of the five over powerplay when he cut Finn straight to Joe Denly at cover.
James Harris, on his first trip to his former county, bowled three overs at the River End before he was replaced by Toby Roland-Jones (bowlers were restricted to a maximum of five overs). Roland-Jones struck in his first over when he had Chris Cooke caught by Adam Voges at slip for two and again in his second over when he had Marcus North caught at the wicket by John Simpson for three. Jim Allenby joined Rees with the total on 38-3 in the 10th over and Allenby hit Neil Dexter for a four and a six off successive deliveries before Paul Stirling replaced him at the Cathedral Road End.
Stirling struck with his third ball when Allenby was caught by Joe Denly at deep mid-wicket for fifteen. Stirling struck again in his following over when Murray Goodwin was caught by Ollie Rayner at backward square-leg for nine to leave Glamorgan on 85-5 in the 17th over. James Harris then returned at the River End and with his fourth delivery, bowled Rees for 32. Ben Wright and Graham Wagg then pushed on, taking fourteen runs off Ollie Rayner’s fourth over and eighteen runs off the following over from James Harris which included a no-ball that went for six.
The three over batting powerplay was taken with the total on 132-6 but Steve Finn returned to have Ben Wright caught by Eoin Morgan for 26 (off 20 balls), at mid-wicket. Six runs came off the remaining five balls of Finn’s over before Toby Roland-Jones returned at the River End to bowl Cosker for five with his first delivery. Michael Hogan played a ball from Roland-Jones to third man and when attempting a third run, Hogan was run out after ‘keeper John Simpson threw the ball to the bowlers’ end where his direct hit ran Hogan out for two.
Graham Wagg scored three off the last ball of Roland-Jones’ over and with Simon Jones, scored ten runs in the final over of the innings from Steve Finn as Glamorgan reached 153-9 from their 25 overs; Wagg was 20 not out with Simon Jones 5 not out. Toby Roland-Jones had outstanding figures of 3-13 from his five overs with Steve Finn taking 2-32 in 5 overs, Paul Stirling 2-18 in 2 overs, James Harris 1-34 in 5 overs with Ollie Rayner and Neil Dexter having identical figures of 0-24 from four overs each.
In reply, after Paul Stirling scored a three off the second ball of the innings, Dawid Malan was bowled by Jim Allenby for a third ball duck. Joe Denly was out in the fourth over of the innings when Michael Hogan beat him on several occasions before finding the edge of Denly’s bat and ‘keeper Mark Wallace took the catch to dismiss him for five. Paul Stirling had made seventeen off 18 balls before he drove a Jim Allenby delivery straight into the hands of Graham Wagg at mid-off.
Simon Jones came on at the River End and with his second delivery, he had Eoin Morgan, who had scored nine runs off seven balls, caught by Cooke who dived forward at deep cover to take the catch. The batsmen had crossed and Adam Voges was LBW to the next delivery for a single to leave Middlesex in dire straits on 32-5 in the eighth over. John Simpson survived the ‘hat-trick’ ball, scoring a single before Neil Dexter opened his account with a single off the last ball of the over.
Simpson played some fine straight drives and with Dexter, added 59 runs for the sixth wicket to give the Panthers some hope. However, Simpson’s fine effort ended when he was caught by Wagg at mid-wicket off Dean Cosker’s bowling for 32 (off 27 balls). Ollie Rayner fell in Cosker’s following over when he was LBW for two and Middlesex reached 100-7 with just five overs remaining. Toby Roland-Jones attempted a big hit off Cosker but he was caught at long-on by Hogan for two.
The batting powerplay was taken with Middlesex on 110-8 after 21 overs and Dexter and James Harris scored six singles off the first over from Hogan. Only four runs came off the next over from Graham Wagg but fourteen runs came in Hogan’s next over with Neil Dexter hitting two fours and reaching a run-a-ball fifty which included five fours. Twenty runs were needed off the final over of the innings and after James Harris scored a single off the first ball, Dexter’s fine effort ended when Murray Goodwin took an excellent catch, diving forward at mid-off to dismiss him for 54. The batsmen had crossed and James Harris scored a four off the following ball but after a leg-bye off the fourth ball, just two singles were scored off the last two balls as the Middlesex innings closed on 142-9. James Harris was 13 not out with Steve Finn 1 not out; Dean Cosker had figures of 3-32 in 5 overs with Jim Allenby taking 2-23 in 5 overs, Simon Jones 2-17 in 4 overs, Graham Wagg 1-29 in 5 overs and Michael Hogan 1-26 in 5 overs.
To keep up to date with Middlesex County Cricket Club news and updates! Click here to visit our page or click the like button below to like us.