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over 5 years ago | Matches

After securing a much needed and hard-fought victory in the Vitality Blast on Thursday night in front of a 20,000 plus crowd at Lord’s, Middlesex will be in much better spirits when they head to Taunton tomorrow to take on Somerset.

Dan Vettori’s men will take plenty of heart from that win over Hampshire and will be looking to gain some momentum, build on what was an encouraging performance, and get on a winning run down in the West Country ahead of a return to Lord’s next Thursday.

Last time out, batting first, Paul Stirling looked at his destructive best as he set the Middlesex innings up beautifully at Lord’s with a typically quickfire 60 off 44 balls, although the fall of his wicket slammed the brakes on, and Middlesex were pegged back from a great start to post a total of 165.

On a dry slow’ish wicket at Lord’s Middlesex’s total looked twenty runs short and the home side knew that they wouldhave to bowl out of their skins to restrict the Hampshire chase.

That they did with aplomb, with both Ashton Agar and Steven Finn finishing with three wicket hauls, as despite a brilliant 29 ball 58 from Colin Munro at the top of the Hampshire innings, the visitors lost regular wickets throughout to finish 22 runs short. Agar bowled beautifully to earn the man of the match award, finishing the night with career best T20 figures of 3 for 17 from his 4 overs.

Whilst there is certainly room for improvement with the bat, Middlesex’s performance with the ball will give them plenty of encouragement as they head to Taunton, looking to reverse the result from a little over a week ago, when Somerset left Lord’s with the points having chased down Middlesex’s target of 175.

In that encounter Somerset played with aggression from the get-go with the bat, with Myburgh, Trego and Anderson all intent on blasting the Middlesex bowlers out of the attack, taking the aerial route to the boundary. All three made good contributions of above thirty, at strike rates above 160, with nine sixes between them.

At Taunton on Sunday, Eoin Morgan, who skippers the Seaxes again in the absence of Dawid Malan, who continues to rest a tight quad ahead of this week’s Test match, will need his bowlers to be equally as dominant and just as on song as they were on Thursday against Hampshire if they are to come away from Taunton with the points.

Aside of Stirling’s endeavours, and some good contributions from Max Holden, runs have been light at the top of the Middlesex order, and Morgan himself along with others alongside him, will be looking to get in amongst the runs on Sunday at a ground which has traditionally been a high scoring venue. If Stirling can find a partner to go big with him, then a big Middlesex total could well be on the cards!

With Dwayne Bravo’s spell with the club now completed as he heads off to the Caribbean Premier League, and Nathan Sowter side-lined with a quad strain which he picked up in the win on Thursday night, Daniel Vettori is forced to change a winning side and names the following fifteen-man squad for Sunday’s clash with Somerset…

Eoin Morgan (captain)

Ashton Agar

Tom Barber

Stephen Eskinazi

Steven Finn

James Franklin

James Fuller

Nick Gubbins

James Harris

Tom Helm

Max Holden

Ravi Patel

George Scott

John Simpson (wicket-keeper)

Paul Stirling

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Related fixture

Sun 29 July
Vitality Blast 2018
The Cooper Associates County Ground
Start Time: 16:00

Somerset Somerset
Middlesex Middlesex

Somerset win by 38 runs