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Match Preview: Hampshire CCC v Middlesex CCC

In front of a sell out crowd at Lord's, Middlesex took a huge step towards qualification for the quarter finals of the NatWest T20 Blast last night, when chasing down a victory target of 198, their highest ever successful run chase in this format of the game, to overcome London rivals Surrey in what was an incredible night at the Home of Cricket in front of the live Sky cameras.

Middlesex moved to third place in the South Group table as a result and head to the Ageas Bowl this evening full of confidence to take on a Hampshire side currently sitting in eighth position and already out of the competition.

 Tonight's clash under the Ageas Bowl floodlights starts at 7pm and will be a game that Middlesex will be hopeful of winning, having already beaten the South Coast side heavily, by the margin of 69 runs at Uxbridge, in their opening clash of this 2016 campaign.

 At Lord's last night Middlesex's record run chase, surpassed the 183 they chased down against Kent at Canterbury in 2010 to become their highest ever run chase in T20 cricket, and included important knocks of 34 from Paul Stirling, 42 from Eoin Morgan, 55 from Man of the Match George Bailey, and an audacious 43 off 26 balls from the hugely impressive John Simpson. Nathan Sowter once again shone with the ball for Middlesex, with his leg-spin accounting for both Davies and Burns as the New South Wales man returned figures of 2 for 29 from his four overs.

After such an impressive performance at Lord's, Middlesex can take huge amounts of belief and confidence into their last three South Group matches, starting tonight down in Southampton. In what was a real 'pressure pot' atmosphere, they not only did brilliantly to restrict Surrey to less than 200, when a much bigger total looked on the cards after Finch and Roy had raced out of the blocks for the visitors, but to then chase down their target with such ease was a model of composure and made for a terrific spectacle for the capacity crowd.

Tonight, Middlesex welcome back their T20 Captain and England Lions Captain, Dawid Malan, after he missed last night's clash with Surrey whilst smashing a record score himself against Sri Lanka A, 185*, to record the highest ever individual score for a Lions batsman. Toby Roland-Jones also makes a welcome return from the Lions side, having also performed well with the Lions, taking 2 for 47, and he is named alongside Malan in a thirteen man Middlesex squad for tonight's game.

Hampshire come into this clash on the back of two successive victories themselves, against Glamorgan and Sussex, although it had proved too little too late for the South coast side as qualification is now beyond them, although with pride to play for in front of a home crowd, they'll prove a stern test for Middlesex as the visitors look to bag another away win which will take them almost to the brink of quarter-final qualification. The hosts are buoyed by the return of England Lion Liam Dawson, who returns to their squad for this South Group clash at the Ageas Bowl.

England have released Steven Finn and he will join up with the squad for tonight's match. 

Middlesex's 14 man squad is as follows...

Dawid Malan (Captain)
George Bailey
James Franklin
Steven Finn
James Fuller
Nick Gubbins
Ryan Higgins
Eoin Morgan
Harry Podmore
Ollie Rayner
Toby Roland-Jones
John Simpson
Nathan Sowter
Paul Stirling

The match begins at 7pm and you can follow it live via the live scores link or BBC commentary link on the home page of this website.


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