Middlesex kept their Royal London One-Day Cup hopes alive when they defeated Sussex Sharks by 21 runs under Duckworth/Lewis regulations at Hove. Having won the toss and elected to bat first, the Sharks were well placed on 122-1 in the 22nd over but Middlesex fought back to restrict the home side to 248-9 from their fifty overs. After Chris Rogers and Dawid Malan put on 71 for the first wicket, the Panthers reached 81-1 from 18 overs at which point the rain arrived and no further play was possible.
Middlesex made one change from the side that lost to Somerset the previous day with Tom Helm coming into the side to replace Ryan Higgins. Sussex began their innings with a bonus when Toby Roland-Jones fired the first ball of the match down the leg-side and five wides were conceded. Only two singles came off the remainder of the over but in Tim Murtagh’s opening over, Luke Wright hit three fours off successive deliveries. However, in Toby Roland-Jones’ second over, Wright was trapped LBW for 14 which brought in Ed Joyce to join Chris Nash.
Nash then hit Tim Murtagh for two successive fours andMurtagh conceded 27 runs from three overs before he was replaced in the attack by Tom Helm. The runs continued to flow with Joyce hitting two fours in Helm’s first over and Chris Nash hitting the first ball of Roland-Jones’ fifth over for a six as Sussex reached 64-1 after the 10 power-play overs.
Nash and Joyce took Sussex to 91-1 after 17 overs before Neil Dexter came on to replace Helm in the attack. Nash reached a 54 ball fifty (2 sixes & 7 fours) with a six off the second ball of Dexter’s over and with Joyce hitting the last ball of the over for a four, the Sharks were 103-1 after just 18 overs. Ollie Rayner came on to bowl his off-spin in place of Harry Podmore at the Cromwell Road End but Sussex reached 116-1 before Nash hit Neil Dexter for a further six. However Dexter had his revenge next ball when Nash pulled him straight to Tom Helm at deep mid-wicket who took the catch to dismiss Nash for 65.
Three balls later, Ollie Rayner struck when he bowled Ed Joyce for 37 which brought in Machan to join Cachopa with the total on 122-3 in the 23rd over. Machan started well by hitting three fours in a Neil Dexter over and althoughCachopa hit Ollie Rayner for a six, the scoring rate was slowed. Dawid Malan was brought on to bowl his leg-spinand in his second over he had Cachopa caught at the wicket by John Simpson for 24.
Ben Brown joined Machan at the wicket with the total on 174-4 and the pair took Sussex to 181-4 after 35 overs at which point the batting power-play was taken. After just three singles came off Toby Roland-Jones’ over, a further five runs came off the first three balls of Podmore’s over before Brown attempted a second run to Tom Helm running around from long-leg to field the ball at square-leg and he was beaten by Helm’s return to the ‘keeper and he was run out for nine. Yasir Arafat and Machan managed only three runs off the next two overs before Arafat was bowled by Roland-Jones for two.
Steffan Piolet joined Machan and Roland-Jones conceded only two singles off the remaining five balls of the over as the Sharks reached 197-6 after the five power-play overs.A further thirteen runs were added before Tom Helm hadMachan well caught by Ollie Rayner at short mid-wicket for 40. Will Beer and Piolet took the total to 223-7 before Toby Roland-Jones bowled Beer for five and Roland-Jones sentLiddle’s stumps flying with his next ball to reduce Sussex to 224-9.
Steffan Piolet batted well with last man Lewis Hatchett at the wicket and he ended with 33 not out in a Sussex total of 248-9. Toby Roland-Jones had figures of 4-42 from 10 overs with Tom Helm taking 1-39 in 9 overs, Ollie Rayner 1-42 in 10 overs, Neil Dexter 1-39 in 5 overs and DawidMalan 1-9 in 3 overs with Harry Podmore conceding 46runs in 10 overs whilst Tim Murtagh did not bowl again after conceding 27 runs in three overs.
In reply, only four runs came off the first three overs before Malan hit a free-hit for a four following a no-ball by YasirArafat. Malan scored three fours in the next two overs as Middlesex reached 27-0 after six overs. Chris Rogers had seen little of the strike as he and Malan took Middlesex to 42-0 after the ten power-play overs. Rogers then hit three fours in the next three overs and with Malan took the Panthers to 70-0 before Rogers had a narrow escape when Piolet, in his follow-though, missed the stumps with Rogers well out of his ground.
Piolet struck with the last ball of his second over when he had Dawid Malan caught at the wicket by Ben Brown for 33 and Paul Stirling joined Rogers at the wicket with the total on 71-1 after fifteen overs. With rain forecast, Rogers and Stirling took Middlesex to 81-1 after 18 overs at which point the rain arrived and no further play was possible. Chris Rogers was 34 not out with Paul Stirling on 2 not out.
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