Having beaten Glamorgan by 16 runs in a thrilling contest at Radlett Cricket Club yesterday in the Royal London One-Day Cup, Middlesex head into another crucial fifty-over contest tomorrow afternoon, under the floodlights of Chelmsford’s Cloud FM County Ground. They’ll be taking on an in-form Essex side who also secured a nail-biting win against Sussex in their last encounter to keep their own hopes of qualification to the knockout stages well on course.
Anything less than a win for Middlesex will see them face an early exit, so the pressure will once again be on James Franklin’s side to perform at their very best to overcome a very dangerous Essex white ball unit. Under the same pressure yesterday, Middlesex held their nerve to secure an important win, so Franklin will be confident his side can put on a repeat performance and secure the points.
At Radlett, it was Steven Finn who stole the show for Middlesex, finding a beautiful rhythm, pace and bounce as he took figures of 4 for 39 in ten blistering overs, whilst Ryan Higgins once again showed his knack of picking up key wickets at key times, when finishing off the Glamorgan innings with superb figures of 3 for 32 from 8.3 impressive overs. With the bat, Dawid Malan looked back to his very best, hitting a fluent half century, as did Franklin himself, who held the Middlesex innings together with a patient and well worked fifty.
Middlesex’s victory took them to fifth in the table, with five points from six matches played, three points behind Essex, who sit in second place in the South Group having played one game less. Essex’s only loss in the tournament to date came against Middlesex’s victims of yesterday, when the Eagles failed to chase down a Glamorgan total of 281, falling just one run short, nine wickets down.
Victory against Essex at Chelmsford, followed by another win against table toppers Somerset at Lord’s next Wednesday will put Middlesex in the frame for qualification, although other results will still need to fall in favour of the Seaxes to see them progress to the playoffs.
Middlesex name an unchanged fourteen-man squad for tomorrow’s clash, as follows:
James Franklin (capt)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)