Middlesex suffered their fourth successive NatWest t20 Blast defeat when they were beaten by 47 runs at Merchant Taylor’s School, Northwood. Having been put in to bat by Dan Christian, the Hampshire openers James Vince and Jimmy Adams got them off to a flying start with an opening partnership of 108 in 9.4 overs before OwaisShah scored a quick-fire 49 off 26 balls as the visitors totalled 198-2. After Paul Stirling and Dawid Malan scored 57-0 off the first six overs, the innings fell away and the Panthers innings finished on 151-9.
Middlesex fielded the same side that were beaten by Gloucestershire at Bristol but after Ollie Rayner conceded just three singles in the first over, James Vince cut loose and hit Steve Finn for four successive fours in the second over of the innings. Ten runs came off the third over, bowled by James Harris with sixteen runs coming in the next over from Ollie Rayner. Ten runs came off the next over from Harris but things were even worse in the sixth over when Vince hit Finn for four fours in an over which cost a total of 21 runs – the Hampshire total being 76-0 after the six powerplay overs.
Vince reached a 25 ball fifty (1 six & 9 fours) in the 7th over and the hundred came up off the first ball of the tenth over. After Vince hit Ravi Patel for a six, the total reached 107-0 before Jimmy Adams was stumped off a wide ball by Adam Rossington for 38 (off 26 balls). Adam Wheaterjoined Vince and the pair added a further 12 runs before James Vince was caught by James Harris at long-off for 68 off 38 balls (2 sixes & 10 fours), giving Ravi Patel a second wicket.
After a brief lull in scoring, Owais Shah hit Ollie Rayner for two successive sixes and he also pulled Steve Finn for a six over mid-wicket when Finn returned to bowl the 18th over. Nineteen runs came off the penultimate over from Dan Christian but James Harris conceded just five singles in the final over of the innings as Hampshire finished on198-2 with Owais Shah 49 not out (off 26 balls, 3 sixes & 2 fours) with Adam Wheater 30 not out (off 33 balls). Ravi Patel was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2-23 in 4 overs but Steve Finn conceded 51 runs in 3 overs and Dan Christian 41 runs in 4 overs.
In reply, Paul Stirling and Dawid Malan gave Middlesex a good start with an opening partnership of 57-0 from the sixpowerplay overs before Dawid Malan was caught and bowled by Danny Briggs for 23 off 19 balls. Joe Denlyjoined Paul Stirling but after Stirling took six runs off the last two balls of Brigg’s over, he was caught by James Vince at long-on off the bowling of Matt Coles for 40 (off 21 balls, 2 sixes & 4 fours).
Dan Christian joined Denly with the total on 65-2 but Christian managed only three runs before he called for a single to cover but was beaten by Jimmy Adams direct-hit on the bowlers’ end stumps and was run out. At the half-way point of the innings, Middlesex were 80-3 but Neil Dexter was bowled by Danny Briggs for five and when Adam Rossington was bowled by Will Smith for three attempting a reverse sweep, the game was as good as over.
Joe Denly and John Simpson took the Panthers to 112-5 in the 15th over before Simpson was caught at mid-wicket by Jimmy Adams, off Briggs’ bowling for nine. Joe Denly hit Smith for a six but off the next ball from Smith, he was caught by Owais Shah at deep extra-cover for 33. Ollie Rayner and James Harris added 26 runs for the 7th wicket before Rayner was LBW to Kyle Abbott for seven. James Harris was then caught by ‘keeper Adam Wheater off Wood’s bowling for eighteen and Steve Finn and Ravi Patel added a further six runs off the final five balls of the innings which closed on 151-9. Danny Briggs had figures of 3-20 in 4 overs with Will Smith taking 2-24 in 4 overs.
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