Middlesex Panthers ended their dismal NatWest T20 Blast campaign at Taunton where they suffered a 22 run defeat on another glorious summers’ evening. After Somerset won the toss and batted first making a total of 183-3 in their twenty overs, Middlesex got off to a good start before they slipped to 71-5 before John Simpson and Neil Dexter enabled the Panthers to reach 161-7 in reply. Middlesex made one change from the side that suffered a last ball defeat against Surrey at Lord’s with Toby Roland-Jones replacing Steve Finn.
The Somerset openers Nick Compton and MarcusTrescothick got the hosts off to a flying start although Compton was dropped by Dawid Malan at deep mid-on in the opening over from Toby Roland-Jones. Harry Podmoreconceded just four runs in his first over but fifteen runs came off his second over with Compton hitting the first three balls for two fours and a six. With thirteen runs coming off Dan Christian’s second over, Somerset reached 54-0 after the six powerplay overs.
Only eight runs came off the next two overs bowled by Neil Dexter and Ollie Rayner but twenty-five runs came off the next three overs before Ollie Rayner returned to bowl at the River End and Nick Compton hit him for a two and a six to bring up a 33 ball fifty which contained two sixes and six fours. A further nine runs came off Rayner’s over as Somerset reached 104-0 after twelve overs.
Ravi Patel returned at the Old Pavilion End and he struck twice in the over when he had Compton caught at short third-man by Neil Dexter for 58. Peter Trego joined MarcusTrescothick but Trescothick was then stumped by John Simpson off a wide for 46 (off 38 balls, 7 fours) to reduce Somerset to 107-2. Colin Ingram joined Trego and the pairtook the hosts to 152-2 before Ingram who had just hit Patel for a six, was well caught at long-on by Joe Denly off the last ball of Ravi Patel’s final over for 21.
James Hildreth joined Trego with three overs remaining and after six singles came off a Toby Roland-Jones over, three singles came off the first three balls of HarryPodmore’s over before Hildreth hit him for two sixes and a two off the last three balls of the over. However, only eight runs came off the final over of the innings as Somerset finished on 183-3 with Peter Trego 35 not out and JamesHildreth 18 not out: Ravi Patel had figures of 3-36 from his four overs whilst Toby Roland-Jones had figures of 0-24 from his four overs.
Joe Denly and Dawid Malan began the Middlesex reply and they got the Panthers off to a flying start with Malan hitting the last three balls of the opening over from Lewis Gregory for fours. Malan struck two successive fours in the second over, bowled by Tim Groenewald and when he hit a further four in the next over from Alfonsi Thomas, he had hit six fours in just eight balls faced. Middlesex were 30-0 after three overs but Joe Denly was out to the first ball of the fourth over when he was caught at long-on by Gregory for four off Groenewald.
Eoin Morgan joined Malan at the wicket and the pair took the Panthers to 50-1 after the powerplay overs but after Morgan scored a four and a single off the first two balls of Dirk Nannes’ second over, Dawid Malan was caught at the wicket by Marcus Trescothick for 34 (off 22 balls, 8 fours).Nannes struck twice in his third over when he had Eoin Morgan brilliantly caught by the leaping ‘keeper MarcusTrescothick for eighteen and next ball Trescothick took a brilliant diving catch to his right to dismiss Ryan Higgins for a duck to reduce Middlesex to 60-4.
John Simpson joined Dan Christian and they took the Panthers to 70-4 at the half-way point of the innings before George Dockrell came on at the Old Pavilion End and had Christian caught by Craig Overton at long-off for five. Neil Dexter joined John Simpson and the pair steadied the ship taking Middlesex to 95-5 with five overs remaining. Dexter then hit Tim Groenewald for a six and with John Simpson also hitting him for two fours in the over the total reached 110-5.
After six runs came off the first three balls of GeorgeDockrell’s last over, Neil Dexter drove him for two sixes before he was caught at long-on by Hildreth off the last ball of the over for 33 (off 24 balls, 3 sixes & 1 four). Fifty-five runs were needed off the last three overs and after Ollie Rayner got off the mark with a cover-driven four, a further three singles came from Gregory’s over, After Rayner scored a single off the first ball of Nannes’ final over, John Simpson hit him for two fours and a six as seventeen runs came off the over.
With thirty-two needed off the final over of the match, Ollie Rayner hit the first ball of Gregory’s over for a six but he fell to the third ball of the over when he was caught at short fine-leg by Tim Groenewald for thirteen. Toby Roland-Jones joined Simpson and a further two runs were scored as the Middlesex innings closed on 161-7 with John Simpson 47 not out: Dirk Nannes had figures of 3-28 from his four overs.
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