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Sussex Sharks v Middlesex: Match Report

over 8 years ago | Uncategorised

Dawid Malan and Nick Gubbins both made excellent hundreds as Middlesex squeezed past Sussex by three runs runs in a thriller at Hove to maintain their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Royal London One- Day Cup.

Gubbins scored 147, his maiden List A century, and Malan hit 131, his fifth one-day hundred as Middlesex piled up 367 for 6, their highest ever one-day total.

Two rain delays interrupted Sussex’s progress and left them needing 309 off 40 overs at nearly eight run an over but they were kept in the hunt by a superb 112 from Australian George Bailey, his first sizeable contribution since he joined Sussex in June to play one-day cricket.

Bailey went from 50 to his century in just 27 deliveries and was on strike when Sussex started the final over needing 17. Bailey took eight off the first three balls from James Harris but was then run out turning for a second by Andrew Balbirnie’s throw from deep square leg, having faced 76 balls and hit nine fours and three sixes.

The task of hitting the last ball for six to win proved beyond last man Chris Liddle as Sussex finished on 305 for 9. They had been given a solid start by Chris Nash and Luke Wright, who put on 74 before Harris took a running catch in the covers to remove Nash for 40 in Neil Dexter’s first over.

Wright went to his 21st one-day fifty off just 36 balls and had begun to accelerate when the back-pedalling Dexter superbly caught him just inside the rope at long on for 72 from 53 balls with 11 fours and a six.

It was a commendable effort by the home side, and n particular Bailey, but a fourth defeat in Group B has ended their chances of qualifying. Home skipper Ed Joyce put the visitors in on a pitch used last Thursday under overcast skies and at the end of the first power-play Middlesex were a modest 43 for 1, having lost Nick Compton lbw to Ollie Robinson’s late inswing.

But Malan and Gubbins gradually wrested control and took full toll of some wayward bowling. Joyce used seven bowlers in the end but only Robinson, who finished with 2 for 61, bowled with any sort of control.

At the peak of their stand, the second wicket pair thrashed 109 in ten overs from the 29th-39th, taking advantage of a flat pitch and short boundaries as Sussex’s bowlers struggled to stem the flow.

Gubbins reached his hundred from 93 balls in style with a six over mid-wicket and Malan followed him shortly afterwards, from 100 deliveries. The stand was worth 268, the second-highest in Middlesex’s one-day history, when Malan was bowled hitting across the line at Mike Yardy, having hit 13 fours and three sixes in his 131 off 115 balls.

Gubbins’ fine knock came to a somewhat tame end when he holed out to long on in the 42nd over, having faced 113 balls and struck nine fours and seven sixes.

The suffering didn’t end there for Sussex. John Simpson flayed 50 off 25 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes) and although Middlesex lost wickets at the end in the pursuit of more runs it was still the second-highest score Sussex had conceded in List A cricket.

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