Middlesex suffered a 95 run defeat against the Indians at Lord’s in a 50 overs-a-side match. The Indians used all seventeen members of their one-day squad ahead of the International series against England whilst Middlesex used thirteen players and the match as such became a non- ‘List A’ match.
Dawid Malan captained the Middlesex team although one-day captain Eoin Morgan played in the match. After Malan won the toss and invited the tourists to bat first before a large crowd of mainly Indian supporters, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings and scored nineteen runs in the first three overs before Dhawan (10) was caught by Malan at mid-off in Gurjit Sandhu’s second over. Indian captain Virat Kohli joined Rohit Sharma but only a further ten runs were added before Sharma was caught at third-man by Sandhu off the bowling of Steve Finn for eight. Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli saw off the threat of Steve Finn who had figures of 1-20 off six overs before Harry Podmore joined James Harris in the attack.
The total reached 52-2 after thirteen overs before Harris had Rahane caught by Steve Finn at mid-on for fourteen. Ambati Rayudu joined his captain at the wicket andRayudu had a narrow escape when he called for a sharp single and he would have been run out for one had Ravi Patel’s throw from mid-off hit the bowlers’ end stumps.After a shaky start, Kohli began to show his class and he reached a 59 ball fifty which contained eight fours, out of a total of 109-3 in the 24th over. Kohli hit Ravi Patel for a straight six and with Rayudu also pressing on, the Indians reached 156-3 before Kohli was out to the last ball of the 30th over when he was caught at the wicket for 71 by John Simpson
Ravi Jadeja joined Rayudu who reached a 60 ball fifty (6 fours) in the 32nd over before Jadeja was caught by Nick Gubbins at deep mid-wicket for seven to give Ravi Patel a second wicket. Ravi Ashwin joined Rayudu and the pair took the visitors to 211-5 after 40 overs at which point Ambati Rayudu retired out for 72 in order to let the remaining batsmen have a knock. The move backfired however when Ollie Rayner took two wickets with the next two balls to reduce the Indians to 211-8. Firstly Ravi Ashwin was LBW to Rayner for eighteen and Stuart Binny was caught and bowled by Rayner for a first ball duck.
Karn Sharma avoided the ‘hat-trick’ and with Sanju Sansom took the visitors to 224-8 before Sansom gave Rayner a return catch to be dismissed for six. Seven overs remained of the fifty overs when last man Suresh Raina came to the wicket but after a further six runs came off Ravi Patel’s ninth over, Raina was easily stumped by ‘keeper John Simpson for five as the Indians were all-out for 230 with 34 balls of the innings remaining. Ollie Rayner had figures of 4-32 from 9.2 overs with Ravi Patel taking 2-56 in 9 overs, Steve Finn 1-20 in 6 overs, James Harris 1-29 in 7 overs, Gurjit Sandhu 1-65 in 9 overs whilst Harry Podmore conceded 26 runs in 4 overs.
In reply, Middlesex never really looked like running the opposition close after losing their first five wickets in reaching 67-5 after sixteen overs. Nick Gubbins (2) was strangled down the leg-side in the third over of the innings with ‘keeper Sansom taking the catch off the bowling of Kumar Singh. Dawid Malan was then bowled in the following over from Mohammed Shami for five but Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan took the total to 34-2 before Stirling was caught down the leg-side by ‘keeper Sansom for 17 off the bowling of Umesh Yadav. Ryan Higgins began confidently and with Morgan took Middlesex to 64-3 before Morgan chased a wide delivery from Mohit Sharma and he was caught at the wicket by Sansom for 16. When Ryan Higgins (20) was caught at mid-wicket by Dhawan in Dhawal Kulkarni’s first over, Middlesex were reduced to 67-5.
John Simpson and Andrew Balbirnie did their best to repair the damage but they found it difficult to accelerate against Ashwin’s off-spin and the seam bowling of Kulkarni. Balbirnie was dropped by Dhawan at mid-wicket off Ravi Jadaja’s bowling before John Simpson hit Ashwin for a six over backward square-leg. The hundred came up in the 26th over before Simpson was LBW to Ravi Ashwin for 19 which brought Ollie Rayner to the wicket. The total reached 108-6 in the 34th over before Andrew Balbirnie was bowled by Karn Sharma for 19. James Harris joined Ollie Rayner at the wicket and they took the total to 114-7 before James Harris called Rayner for a single but Rayner was beaten by Jadeja’s direct hit on the ‘keepers’ stumps and was run out for five.
James Harris scored a breezy twenty off 21 balls before he was stumped off Karn Sharma and the same bowler accounted for last-man Gurjit Sandhu who was LBW for a duck as Middlesex were all-out for 135: Harry Podmore was 4 not out. Karn Sharma had figures of 3-14 in 4.5 overs with his leg-breaks and googlies whilst six Indian bowlers each took a wicket.
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