Having beaten Gloucestershire convincingly in their last outing in the Royal London One-Day Cup down in Bristol, Middlesex head next to the South Coast, where they’ll take on Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove on Sunday, in a match starting at 11am.
Middlesex were able to put the disappointment of an opening day defeat at Radlett to Hampshire behind them in Bristol, when a magnificent unbeaten knock of 125 from Paul Stirling saw the Seaxes romp home by 7 wickets, after Duckworth Lewis had used their mysterious ways to determine the target that Middlesex needed after their innings had been interrupted by rain earlier. Whilst it was Stirling who undoubtedly stole the show and the headlines, it was thanks to the good work of Toby Roland-Jones and James Fuller, the latter returning to his old stomping ground, that the target Middlesex were left to chase was more than gettable. Three wickets from Roland-Jones and two from Fuller saw the Gloucestershire innings collapse from 150 for 2 in the 28th over to 254 for 8 at the close, to leave Stirling and his fellow Middlesex batters a far more manageable chase than looked on the cards for much of the Gloucestershire innings.
Sussex’s campaign has yet to fire this term, with the Martlets losing both of their opening two matches in the competition this year; at home to Essex and away to Glamorgan. Another defeat to Middlesex this Sunday and the home side will be left with a huge uphill struggle if they are to make it out of the group stages and into the knockout phase of the competition.
Last season’s corresponding fixture down in Hove was an absolute nail-biter, played under the floodlights on a damp and drizzly evening on the Sussex coast. It was Middlesex who prevailed thanks to a quite brilliant record breaking partnership from Nick Gubbins and Dawid Malan. The pair put on 268 for the second wicket, with Malan hitting 131 off 115 balls and Gubbins 141 off 113 balls, to help Middlesex post a List-A record total of 367 for 6! Ironically, despite records tumbling everywhere, Sussex showed just how dangerous a side they can be, when only just failing to reach their victory target, losing by just 3 runs in a classic Duckworth Lewis affected fifty over encounter.
A win for Middlesex in Hove would cement a growing opinion that James Franklin’s side have what it takes this season to succeed in this format, and with a strong squad available to him for this one, Sussex will really need to turn their fortunes around if they’re to match Franklin’s men on the field.
Middlesex are pleased to announce the following 14-man squad for our Royal London One-Day Cup match against Sussex at Hove tomorrow, Sunday 12 June:
James Franklin (c), James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Brendon McCullum, Eoin Morgan, Tim Murtagh, Ollie Rayner, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson, Nathan Sowter, Paul Stirling.
The match is due to start at 11am.