Middlesex head back into Specsavers County Championship action tomorrow at Lord’s against Gloucestershire, needing to rediscover the form that saw them win so convincingly against Northamptonshire in the opening clash of the season. Two losses and a draw since see Middlesex sat in sixth place in the Division Two table on 33 points, looking to turn their fortunes around.
Last time out, Middlesex battled toe to toe with Sussex, before going down by three wickets on the South Coast after four hard days of toil. In a match that could have gone either way, Middlesex will have been disappointed to have left Hove with nothing to show for their efforts other than the four bonus points they picked up. A confidence boosting win against Gloucestershire will be just the tonic the Seaxes need in their Championship campaign, before attention turns to the Royal London One-Day Cup for the next month.
Despite the defeat on the South Coast there were positives for Head Coach Richard Scott to take from the performance, not least of all the hundreds hit by Captain Dawid Malan and Nick Gubbins. Both looked in majestic form and will be looking to build on those performances this week at Lord’s.
Hilton Cartwright’s contributions with the ball have also been a huge bonus, with the right arm all-rounder weighing in with five wickets down in Hove, providing skipper Malan with another reliable seamer to turn to.
With Ireland making their Test debut this week, Tim Murtagh has flown to Dublin to join Paul Stirling and the rest of their Irish teammates, so the pair both miss out on the visit of Gloucestershire this week, although the squad is boosted by the return of Steven Finn and Eoin Morgan, who will be relishing the opportunity to turn out, having both missed the opening four weeks of the season.
Gloucestershire come to Lord’s having won one, lost one and drawn one of the three games they’ve played to date. They find themselves on 29 points, one place below Middlesex in seventh, and needing themselves to return to winning ways, having also not won since the opening game of the season.
Middlesex name the following thirteen-man squad for the visit of Gloucestershire:
Dawid Malan (captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)