Middlesex were eliminated from the Royal London One-Day Cup following what Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser described as “an appalling performance” by the team when they were beaten by 77 runs under Duckworth/Lewis regulations by Nottinghamshire at Lord’s. They have one match left to play, against Kent at Canterbury, but they cannot now qualify for the quarter-finals.
After the match was reduced to 45 overs-per-side following rain, the visitors scored a massive 368-2 with Alex Hales scoring 141 off 96 balls and James Taylor an undefeated innings of exactly 100 off just 55 balls. After a heavy storm, Middlesex were left to make 158 in 16 overs but they managed only 80 all-out in 13.3 overs.
Middlesex made two changes from the side that played at Durham in the previous match with Ravi Patel replacing Ollie Rayner and James Harris coming into the side for Tim Murtagh. Eoin Morgan won the toss for the Panthers and with rain forecast, he sent Nottinghamshire in to bat first. Michael Lumb hit the first ball of the innings from James Harris to the cover boundary for a four and a total of nine runs came off the over. Harris conceded 27 runs in four overs before he was replaced in the attack by Harry Podmore but fourteen runs came off Podmore’s first over. Toby Roland-Jones however, conceded just thirteen runs in five overs as the visitors reached 54-0 after the ten power-play overs.
Ravi Patel came on to bowl at the Nursery End but he had bowled only one ball before rain arrived and the players left the field. After a 63 minute delay, the match was reduced to a 45 overs-a-side match and Alex Hales hit Ravi Patel for a six off the fourth ball after the resumption. With Lumb being content to push singles to give Hales the strike, Hales pressed on hitting Patel for a further six as he reached a 44 ball fifty in the 17th over out of a total of 99-0.
Dawid Malan was brought into the attack in an effort to get a break-thorough but his over went for sixteen runs with Hales hitting him for a further six. Michael Lumb reached a 69 ball fifty (6 fours) out of a total of 143-0 after 22 overs. Ravi Patel returned at the Nursery End but Hales took ten runs off the over and he reached his hundred in the following over off just 73 balls (3 sixes & 14 fours). Hales then went on the rampage although he survived a chance to Toby Roland-Jones who ran from long-on and just failed to hang on to the ball as he dived to take the catch.
Nottinghamshire reached 217-0 in the 31st over before Hales was dismissed when he drove a Dawid Malan delivery straight to Neil Dexter at extra-cover to be dismissed for 141 (off 96 balls, 4 sixes & 19 fours). James Taylor joined Michael Lumb at the wicket and they took Nottinghamshire to 244-1 after 36 overs at which point the four over batting power-play was taken. Toby Roland-Jones returned to the attack and with his third delivery, he had Lumb well caught by Chris Rogers at deep mid-wicket for 81.
Only two runs came off Roland-Jones’ over but sixteen runs came off the next over from Harry Podmore with Samit Patel hitting him for two fours. The diminutive Taylor then cut loose, hitting three sixes to reach a 38 ball fifty before he hit the first four balls of the 43rd over (bowled by James Harris) for three fours and a six. Taylor then hit two sixes in the following over from Podmore and when the final over of the innings began, he was on 93 out of a total of 355-2. After seven runs came off the first five balls of the over, Taylor needed a six off the final ball of the innings to reach his hundred and he pulled Toby Roland-Jones for a maximum over mid-wicket to achieve a 55 ball hundred (7 sixes & 8 fours). Samit Patel finished on 37 not out from just 15 balls as the Nottinghamshire innings closed on 368-2; Toby Roland-Jones had figures of 1-50 from nine overs.
Needing a revised Duckworth/Lewis total of 373 runs to win in 45 overs, Middlesex had reached 1-0 after five balls before a torrential downpour arrived and play was held up for 130 minutes. That play was able to resume was due to the superb Lord’s drainage and the Herculean efforts of the Lord’s ground-staff. The Panthers were left to score a revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 158 from a total of 16 overs when play resumed but they suffered an immediate blow when Paul Stirling was bowled by Luke Fletcher for a single off the third ball after the resumption.
Eoin Morgan joined Dawid Malan who hit Harry Gurney for a four but two balls later, Malan was hit on the elbow and the ball went on to hit the stumps to leave Malan bowled for four. When Ryan Higgins was bowled by Gurney for a first ball duck, Middlesex were reduced to 8-3. Neil Dexter avoided the ‘hat-trick’ and with thirteen runs coming off Ajmal Shahzad’s first over and six singles coming from Luke Fletcher’s second over, Middlesex reached 28-3 after five overs.
James Franklin came on to bowl the sixth over and Morgan hit his first two balls of the over for a four and a six before he was caught by Lumb at long-on for 19, off the next delivery. Chris Rogers joined Neil Dexter at the wicket but Dexter was caught at deep mid-wicket by Franklin for seven off the second ball of Samit Patel’s first over. Patel struck again in his following over when Chris Rogers (4) went down the track and missed the ball to leave Chris Read with an easy stumping.
Toby Roland-Jones joined John Simpson with the total on 45-6 in the ninth over and Roland-Jones hit the last ball of the over for a straight six. Seven runs came off the first five balls of the following over from Franklin before Roland-Jones was caught at third-man by Harry Gurney for nine. John Simpson and James Harris did their best but the total was beyond them. Harris struck Gurney for a six before Gurney had Simpson magnificently caught by Franklin who ran around the boundary from long-on to dive and hold onto the catch to dismiss Simpson for 15.
Gurney struck again with his next ball when he bowled James Harris for ten to leave Middlesex on 79-9. Harry Podmore scored a single off the second ball of the 14th over but Ravi Patel was out for a first ball duck when he was caught at cover by Mullaney off the bowling of Ajmal Shahzad as Middlesex were 80 all-out. Harry Gurney had figures of 4-16 from his three overs with Samit Patel taking 2-20 in 3 overs and James Franklin 2-21 in 3 overs.
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