MIDDLESEX SQUAD AND PREVIEW FOR ROYAL LONDON ONE-DAY CUP CLASH AGAINST HAMPSHIRE AT MERCHANT TAYLORS’ SCHOOL
Middlesex head into a crucial Royal London One-Day Cup clash with top of the table Hampshire at Merchant Taylors’ School on Wednesday, with the Seaxes sitting tied in second place in the South Group table alongside Somerset and Gloucestershire, all just one point behind the group leaders.
Middlesex will however head into the clash without the services of England skipper Eoin Morgan, who will miss this game, and also this week’s ICC vs West Indies charity match at Lord’s, having chipped a bone in the end of his finger whilst fielding against Somerset.
Middlesex’s fantastic winning run came to an end last Sunday in Taunton, when after securing wins against Kent, Glamorgan and Sussex, they lost out to Somerset, with the home side prevailing by 53 runs to return to winning ways themselves and close things up in the table. A fine run-a-ball 77 from John Simpson wasn’t enough for Middlesex, who lost wickets far too regularly to give themselves any chance of chasing down the target of 284 set by Somerset.
With just three games remaining for Middlesex in the group stages of the competition, things couldn’t be tighter in the race for the knockout stages, with Hampshire leading the way on seven points, three sides on six points, Middlesex included, Sussex on five, and Essex, Kent and Surrey all on four points. Only Glamorgan, yet to secure a point in the competition, seem out of the reckoning at this stage. A win against Hampshire in Northwood would take Middlesex a long way towards qualifying for the later stages.
Despite being the group leaders, Hampshire head to Merchant Taylors’ on the back of an agonising defeat, having lost to Kent by just one run in a real nail-biter at the Ageas Bowl. Chasing a target of 297 for victory, Hampshire needed just six runs from the final two overs with six wickets still standing, only for Haggett and Henry to hold their nerve for Kent. The pair conceded only four runs from the final twelve balls of the innings, securing an important win for Kent and a moral damaging defeat for Hampshire. A win for Hampshire would have put some distance between them and the chasing pack, whilst that defeat has piled the pressure back on them, now needing a win against Middlesex in Northwood to retain their position at the top.
Despite losing in Taunton, at the end of a gruelling travel schedule which saw Middlesex play three consecutive away game in Cardiff, then Hove, then Taunton, all in the space of a few days, they will head home to Merchant Taylors’ School back on home soil confident of returning to winning ways.
Middlesex Head Coach Richard Scott has named a squad of thirteen for the clash at Merchant Taylors’, as follows:
Steven Finn (captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)