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Match Preview & Squad - Middlesex CCC v Essex Eagles

Middlesex head into another South Group clash in the NatWest T20 Blast tomorrow at Lord’s Cricket Ground with momentum on their side, having been victorious in each of their last three T20 clashes. Against Essex, they’ll be looking to do something that they haven’t managed to do since back in the 2008 season - win four consecutive T20 matches! Whether you believe in omens or not we all know how Middlesex’s 2008 Twenty20 Cup campaign ended up!

This will be Middlesex’s last home group clash of the campaign, with the round-robin stages coming to an end down in Bristol on Friday night when they travel down to the West Country to take on Gloucestershire. Having already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition, Middlesex’s challenge is now to secure a home quarter final tie, and finishing with wins against Essex at Lord’s and Gloucestershire at Bristol will see this secured.

With Middlesex unbeaten in all formats of the game at Lord’s so far this season the Seaxes will be keen to keep this record going and secure another important win against an Essex side who on their day are an outstanding twenty over side. With Essex still in the hunt for a quarter final spot of their own, defeat to Middlesex will severely dent their chances in what is a closely fought South Group, so the Seaxes will know that the visitors will be right up for the fight at Lord’s tomorrow.  

In the return fixture at Chelmsford back in early June Middlesex claimed the honours with a seventeen run victory, when a brilliant half century from Eoin Morgan stole all the headlines. It’s the form of both George Bailey and John Simpson that’s led the way for Middlesex in their recent run however, with Bailey hitting half centuries in each of Middlesex’s last two T20 outings, and Simpson hitting important knocks of 43 and 54.

Last week’s home win for Middlesex over London rivals Surrey at Lord’s was played out in front of a huge crowd of 27,000+, and the crowd for tomorrow evening’s clash against Essex is expected to be similar, which will no doubt lead to another incredible atmosphere under the floodlights at the Home of Cricket in what is shaping up to be a great night of T20 cricket.

Dawid Malan will skipper the Middlesex side, which is missing both James Fuller & Eoin Morgan after they collected injuries in yesterdays Royal London match vs Somerset. Morgan has a chipped bone in his finger and is expected to be out for up to 10 days and Fuller picked up a side strain, the full extend of his injury will be known after the results of a scan taking place today.

Middlesex have named a 16 man squad for the clash at Lord’s, as follows   
Dawid Malan (captain)
Martin Andersson
George Bailey
James Franklin
Steven Finn
Nick Gubbins
James Harris
Ryan Higgins
Tim Murtagh
Harry Podmore
Ollie Rayner
Toby Roland-Jones
George Scott
John Simpson 
Nathan Sowter
Paul Stirling

Gates open at 4.45pm and the match is due to start at 6.15pm. 

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