Match Report - Day 2
Middlesex resumed their first innings on 4-2 at 10.30am and not surprisingly, had to battle hard for runs against the Surrey seam attack of Meaker and Linley. Dawid Malan looked in good touch scoring three boundaries in reaching 20 before he was LBW to Meaker to leave Middlesex on 42-3.
Adam Rossington joined Neil Dexter at the wicket and shortly afterwards Surrey brought Jewell and Dunn into the attack. Rossington scored three fours in Jewell’s first two overs and Neil Dexter scored three fours in Dunn’s second over. The pair took Middlesex to 82-3 before Meaker and Linley returned to the attack but Dexter and Rossington saw the hosts through to lunch on 125-3 with Dexter reaching a 91 ball fifty in the final over before the break and finishing on 58 not out (11 fours) with Rossington 36 not out.
Neil Dexter retired out at the interval and John Simpson replaced him and with Rossington were faced with the pace bowling of Dunn at one end and Gareth Batty’s off-spin at the other. Simpson scored two twos before he was LBW in Batty’s first over. When Ryan Higgins was yorked by Dunn for a third ball duck, Middlesex were 131-6. Andrew Balbirnie joined Rossington with nineteen overs remaining and he began positively using his feet well to drive Batty straight down the ground with four boundaries coming from the first seventeen balls he faced.
Adam Rossington reached an 83 ball fifty with his ninth four and the pair took Middlesex to 184-6 with nine overs to go. At this point, Ansari replaced Barry bowling his left-arm spin but thirteen runs came off his first over and he was to prove expensive. Rossington played some fine cover drives and pull shots and advanced into the nineties with two boundaries off Jason Roy.
Andrew Balbirnie reached a run-a-ball fifty which contained seven fours as Middlesex reached 236-6 with two overs remaining to bat. Rossington took a single off the first ball of the penultimate over to take him to 94 but he was unable to get back on strike. He faced the final over of the innings, bowled by Ansari, but he drove the first ball of the over to cover where Harinath took the catch to dismiss him. The Middlesex innings was closed with five balls remaining, on 241-7 with Andrew Balbirnie 54 not out.
With only a likely three hours playing time remaining, it was agreed that each side would bat for a further twenty overs each with the tea interval in between. Ansari and Davies opened the batting for Surrey and they batted throughout the twenty overs in reaching 63-0 with Ansari 28 not out and Davies 34 not out. James Harris again bowled impressively conceding 22 runs in a six over spell with Toby Roland-Jones having figures of 0-20 in 6 overs, Tom Helm 0-12 also in six overs with Andrew Balbirnie having figures of 0-8 in two overs; Steven Finn did not bowl.
Joe Denly and John Simpson opened the Middlesex innings but Simpson managed only five runs before he was bowled by Dunn in the fourth over of the innings. Dawid Malan joined Denly who scored three successive fours off Dunn in reaching 23 before Dunn had his revenge when Denly edged him through to ‘keeper Davies. Ryan Higgins got off the mark first ball with four backward of point and Malan batted well in scoring six fours in an innings of 32 before he retired out with two overs remaining.
Nick Gubbins played out a maiden over from Winslade and with Higgins hitting his third four in an innings of 21 not out, the Middlesex innings ended on 81-3. On another bitterly cold day, a least a full days play was possible.
Middlesex 2nd Innings: 81-3 (20 overs), Higgins 21*, Gubbins 0* - Simpson 5 (b Dunn), Denly 23 (ct Davies b Dunn), Malan 32 (retd out).
Surrey 2nd Innings: 63-0d (20 overs), Ansari 28*, Davies 34*.
Middlesex 1st Innings: 241-7d (59.1 overs), Balbirnie 54* - Denly 2 (ct Davies b Linley), Gubbins 1 (ct Davies b Meaker), Malan 20 (lbw b Meaker), Dexter 58 (retd out), Simpson 4 (lbw b Batty), Higgins 0 (b Dunn), Rossington 94 (ct Harinath b Ansari).
Surrey 1st Innings: 189-4d (60 overs), Davies 32* & Jewell 11* - Burns 74 (retd out), Harinath 33 (retd out), Ansari 0 (ct Simpson b Finn), Roy 29 (ct Simpson b Harris).
Match Report - Day 1
The Middlesex season got under way with a two-day practice match against local rivals Surrey at Merchant Taylors' School. Despite the extremely cold weather, some 100 or so supporters travelled to Northwood to witness the day's play.
It was agreed before the toss that the side batting first would bat a maximum of 60 overs with a further 40 overs left for the side batting second plus a further 20 overs on the second day, if they were not bowled out earlier. There was no limit on the number of players that could feature in the match, but only 11 players would bat and field.
The Middlesex team was captained by Dawid Malan who won the toss when Gareth Batty called incorrectly for Surrey who were then invited to bat first. Rory Burns, fresh from scoring a hundred on the visitors’ tour to South Africa recently, opened the batting with Arun Harinath. The pair were made to struggle for runs against some accurate bowling from James Harris, who conceded just eight runs in his opening spell of seven overs with Toby Roland-Jones conceding nine runs off five overs.
Steve Finn who has had well chronicled problems with his action during the winter, then bowled five overs and ran in smoothly and troubled the Surrey openers. However, Burns played well in reaching a 71 ball fifty (6 fours) out of a total of 65-0. Burns and Harinath were still together at lunch which came with the total on 92-0 after 31 overs.
James Harris and Steve Finn returned to the Middlesex attack immediately after lunch but the Surrey hundred came up in the 33rd over. The total advanced to 113-0 after 38 overs at which point both Surrey openers retired out to give other players time in the middle; Burns made 74 off 109 balls with Harinath scoring 33 off 120 balls.
Ansari and Davies came to the wicket but Steve Finn struck immediately when he had Ansari caught at the wicket by John Simpson for a second ball duck. On a true wicket, Jason Roy and Stephen Davies added a further fifty runs against some steady bowling from Tom Helm and Toby Roland-Jones. It was James Harris who got the next wicket when Roy, who had been missed by Gubbins in the gully off the previous delivery, had him caught by ‘keeper Simpson down the leg-side for 29.
Jewell joined Davies with the total on 163-4 and the pair added a further 26 runs before the Surrey innings was closed after sixty overs; Davies was 32 not out with Jewell 11 not out. James Harris had figures of 1-45 from 15 overs with Steve Finn taking 1-25 in 11 overs, Toby Roland-Jones had figures of 0-30 in 13 overs, Tom Helm 0-47 in 12 overs and Neil Dexter 0-35 in 8 overs.
The Middlesex reply began after tea in poor light against Meaker and Linley. They lost the wicket of Joe Denly who was caught at the wicket by Davies off the bowling of Linley for two in the 4th over of the innings. This brought Dawid Malan to the wicket to join Nick Gubbins but after Malan played out the remaining five balls of Linley’s over, Gubbins was caught down the leg-side by ‘keeper Davies for a single off Meaker’s bowling.
Neil Dexter joined his captain and the pair battled well in fading light as Middlesex reached 4-2 after 8.3 overs before the umpires brought the players off the ground. No further play was possible and the start time on the second day has been brought forward to 10.30am.
Middlesex have won the toss at Merchant Taylors' and have chosen to have a bowl first.
All players available will look to play over the next 2 days with the first side batting a max of 60 overs in 1st innings.
Live Scores for the match can be found by CLICKING HERE.
Middlesex County Cricket Club kicks off it's pre-season friendly matches tomorrow, Thursday 20 March, with a two-day friendly against closest rivals Surrey County Cricket Club at Merchant Taylors' School.
Play is due to start at 11am on both days, entrance is free for all spectators, although please be aware that there are no spectator facilities available.
Middlesex CCC is pleased to announce the following 14-man squad for the match:
Dawid Malan (captain)
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