Middlesex’s Royal London One-Day Cup South Group campaign concludes on Wednesday evening with an away trip to Bristol, where they’ll take on a Gloucestershire side still in with a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout stages if they can secure a win tomorrow.
Another disappointing defeat in the competition on Sunday for Middlesex, their third loss on the bounce, this time at the hands of London rivals Surrey, left the Seaxes’ hopes of progressing in the competition hanging by the merest of threads.
Middlesex are left hoping for a minor miracle to qualify now, needing to firstly beat Gloucestershire heavily themselves, then rely on Kent to beat Essex by a hefty margin at Chelmsford, then pray that Glamorgan can beat Surrey at the Oval and finally rely upon Hampshire beating Somerset at the Ageas Bowl.
Not impossible, but unlikely one feels! Should all that happen, then Middlesex and Essex will finish the group tied in third place, with qualification to the knockout stages being determined by net run rate.
Stranger things have happened, and all Middlesex can do is focus on doing is making sure that they deliver on their part of this complex equation and secure a big victory themselves down in Bristol.
Their hopes of achieving this have received a major boost in the fact that Captain Dawid Malan returns to the squad for tomorrow’s floodlit encounter, having now finished his Test duties with England, and he is named in a fourteen-man Middlesex squad for the trip to the West Country and will take over the captaincy from stand-in skipper Steven Finn.
Middlesex’s fourteen-man squad is as follows…
Dawid Malan (Captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)