Middlesex got their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign back on track with a six wicket win over local rivals Surrey at Lord’s before a sizable crowd on a fine summer’s day. After the visitors scored exactly one hundred runs in the final ten overs of their innings to reach 286-6 from their fifty overs, the Panthers slipped to 126-4 in the 25th over before a magnificent undefeated innings of 128 off just 86 balls by Eoin Morgan saw Middlesex home by six wickets with 31 balls to spare.
Middlesex made a late change to their line-up when Toby Roland-Jones failed a fitness test and Harry Podmore was given his ‘List A’ debut, otherwise it was the same side that played in the first two matches in the competition. After Gary Wilson won the toss for the visitors and elected to bat first, Davies and Dilshan put on 23 runs for the first wicket before Davies was caught at slip by Dawid Malan off Tim Murtagh’s bowling for thirteen. Vikram Solanki joined Dilshan and the pair took Surrey to 68-1 after 17 overs before Solanki hit Neil Dexter for a six and a four in the following over.
The hundred came up in the 22nd over and both Solanki and Dilshan reached their fifties in the 24th over with Solanki’s coming off 65 balls (1 six & 6 fours) and Dilshan’s off 63 balls (4 fours). Dawid Malan was brought on in an effort to break the stand and he missed a sharp return chance offered by Solanki and when Solanki had reached 55, Nick Gubbins missed a chance at short third-man, the ball going to the boundary for a four. Two balls later however, Malan trapped Solanki LBW for 59 to leave Surrey on 142-2 in the 31st over.
Rory Burns managed only nine runs before he slipped attempting to regain his ground and he was run out by Eoin Morgan’s direct hit on the stumps at the strikers’ end. Wilson joined Dilshan and the batting power-play was taken after 35 overs with the total on 160-3. Steve Finn and Harry Podmore returned to the attack to bowl in the power-play overs and it was Podmore who got the fourth wicket when he had Wilson caught at the wicket by John Simpson for ten. Azhar Mahmood joined Dilshan and they took Surrey to 186-4 with ten overs of the innings remaining.
Azhar Mahmood then batted in his typical forthright manner, hitting Ravi Patel for a six and the pair took Surrey to 210-4 after 43 overs. After a single off the first ball of the 44th over, Dilshan hit Tim Murtagh for a four to bring up a 120 ball hundred (8 fours). After that Dilshan went through his full range of shots with ‘Dil-scoops’ and switch hits before Steve Finn had him caught at the wicket by John Simpson for 115 (off 128 balls, 11 fours).
Azhar Mahmood reached his fifty off just 31 balls which included 1 six and 7 fours before he was caught by Dawid Malan, running-in from long-on to dismiss him for 52 off Steve Finn’s bowling. Arun Harinath joined Zulfar Ansari with the total on 267-6 and they added a further nineteen runs off the remaining eleven deliveries with the Surrey innings closing on 286-6. Steve Finn had figures of 2-47 from 10 overs with Dawid Malan taking 1-39 in 8 overs, Tim Murtagh 1-43 in 7 overs and Harry Podmore 1-58 in 8 overs.
Chris Rogers and Dawid Malan began the Middlesex reply with 19 runs coming first four overs before Rogers hit four fours in George Edwards third over which went for a total of 19 runs which included three wide balls. Rogers and Malan took the total to 56-0 after nine overs before Dawid Malan cut a Stuart Meaker delivery straight to Ansari at cover, Malan having made 18. Surrey switched to an all-spin attack after the ten power-play overs and after Rogers and Nick Gubbins took the total to 86-1 in the 16th over, Rogers was out for 42 (off 44 balls) when he top-edged a sweep-shot against Dilshan and was caught at short fine-leg by Edwards.
Eoin Morgan joined Gubbins who was out in the following over when he attempted a run to mid-on that was never on and he turned in an attempt to regain his ground but was beaten by the throw to the ‘keeper to be run-out for 20. Ryan Higgins joined Morgan with the total on 88-3 and they took the total to 126-3 in the 25th over before Higgins gave Zulfar Ansari a return catch to dismiss him for 16.
Neil Dexter joined Eoin Morgan and he pushed singles in order to give Morgan the strike and Morgan responded by reaching a 46 ball fifty in the 34th over (1 six & 4 fours). The batting power-play was taken with the total on 188-4 after 35 overs and Morgan went on the rampage, hitting Azhar Mahmood for a six and taking four fours off a Stuart Meaker over as Middlesex reached 231-4 with ten overs remaining.
Neil Dexter began to play fluently and with Morgan took the total to 252-4 after 43 overs before Morgan hit the second ball of Dilshan’s over for a six to bring up a 79 ball hundred (3 sixes & 10 fours). Morgan then hit the next three balls of Dilshan’s over for two fours and a six to take the Panthers to 274-4 with six overs left. Zulfar Ansari bowled the next over and after a single off the first ball to Morgan, Dexter hit the second ball for a six and after a single off the next ball, Morgan hit the next two balls for a four and a six to win the match for Middlesex by six wickets. Eoin Morgan was 128 not out off 86 balls (5 sixes & 13 fours) with Neil Dexter 47 not out (off 58 Balls, 1 six & 3 fours).
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