Middlesex recorded their sixth Yorkshire Bank 40 win of the season when they defeated Gloucestershire under the Lord’s floodlights. After a shower of rain had interrupted the Middlesex innings twice, the match was reduced to 38 overs per side. The Panthers made 206-5 in their overs and under the Duckworth/Lewis regulations, the visitors were set a target of 206 runs to win. After losing two early wickets, Klinger and Cockbain repaired the damage but they were always struggling to achieve the required run-rate and Middlesex won the match by 19 runs.
Middlesex made two changed from the side defeated in Cardiff the previous evening with Gareth Berg replacing Adam Voges and Ravi Patel coming in for Ollie Rayner. After Neil Dexter won the toss and elected to bat first, Middlesex lost a wicket to the seventh ball of the innings when Paul Stirling was bowled by Craig Miles, off an inside-edge for a single. Joe Denly joined Dawid Malan but only a further four deliveries were possible before a shower halted play for seven minutes. When play resumed, only a further three balls were bowled before rain again arrived.
After the ten minute delay, Malan and Denly resumed the Middlesex innings and the pair took Middlesex to 52-1 after ten overs before Denly was caught by Klinger at extra-cover off Benny Howell’s bowling for 21. Eoin Morgan joined Malan but the pair struggled to find the boundary against Ed Young’s left-arm spin and the seam bowling of Payne and Howell. Malan eventually found the boundary in the 23rd over (the first since the 10th over) which brought up his fourth YB40 fifty of the season (off 66 balls, 4 fours).
Eoin Morgan, who had struggled to find his touch, eventually hit Miles for a six but in the following over, bowled by Chris Dent, he got a top-edge and was caught by Klinger at cover for 22 (off 48 balls) to leave Middlesex on 117-3 in the 27th over. Neil Dexter joined Malan and the pair took the Panthers to 158-3 after 32 overs at which point, Middlesex took the four over batting Powerplay.
The pair had added 58 runs for the fourth wicket before Dexter was caught by Alex Gidman at cover off David Payne’s bowling for 20 (off 21 balls). Gareth Berg managed only three runs before he was bowled by James Fuller. John Simpson joined Dawid Malan at the wicket on 183-5 with two overs remaining and Malan reached his hundred off 111 balls.
Malan then hit Payne for a straight six and he added a further six in the final over of the innings which produced thirteen runs as Middlesex reached 206-5. Dawid Malan was 113 not out off 116 balls (2 sixes & 9 fours) with John Simpson having scored eight runs off five balls faced.
Needing a total of 206 runs to win, Gloucestershire made a disastrous start to their innings when Hamish Marshall cut the first ball of the innings straight to Eoin Morgan at cover to give Steve Finn a wicket. When James Harris held a sharp return catch to dismiss Chris Dent for two, Gloucestershire were reduced to 3-2 in the second over of the innings. Iain Cockbain joined Michael Klinger at the wicket and the pair struggled to score runs against some accurate bowling from Finn and Harris.
Klinger survived a difficult chance to Joe Denly at square-leg off Finn’s bowling and in the next over, Paul Stirling dropped a straight forward catch offered by Klinger off James Harris’s bowling which would have left the visitors on 24-3. The pair rebuilt the innings but the total had reached only 85-2 after 22 overs before Cockbain (30) was caught by Steve Finn at mid-off from Gareth Berg’s bowling. Klinger departed in the following over when he charged at a Pavi Patel delivery and missed to leave ‘keeper John Simpson with an easy stumping, Klinger having made 46.
Benny Howell joined Alex Gidman with the total on 87-4 and Gidman gave the innings impetus by hitting Ravi Patel for sixes into the Grandstand in successive overs before Patel had his revenge when Gidman was LBW for 19. James Fuller managed only a single before he was bowled by James Harris and Gloucestershire took their batting Powerplay with the total on 123-6 after 29 overs.
Benny Howell struck Toby Roland-Jones for successive sixes in the first over of the Powerplay and with Roderick, took the visitors to 155-6 to leave them needing 51 runs off the remaining five overs. Four runs were added in the 34th over before Howell was well caught by Neil Dexter at extra-cover for 39 off James Harris’ bowling. Ravi Patel returned to bowl the 35th over but Ed Young hit him for a six with a total of eleven runs coming from the over.
Toby Roland-Jones returned to bowl the 36th over and he had Young caught by Gareth Berg for 12 to leave Gloucestershire on 174-8 with just thirteen balls remaining. Steve Finn conceded just four runs in his final over and Toby Roland-Jones was left to bowl the final over. Six runs came off the first three balls of the over before Roderick (13) holed out to Dawid Malan at long-on. Miles joined Payne and they survived the remaining two balls of the over as the Gloucestershire innings closed on 186-9 to leave Middlesex the winners by 19 runs (D/L method). James Harris had figures of 3-30 from 8 overs with Toby Roland-Jones taking 2-41 in 8 overs, Ravi Patel 2-41 in 7 overs, Steve Finn 1-28 in 8 overs and Gareth Berg 1-36 in 7 overs.
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