Middlesex’s slim hopes of securing promotion from Division Two of the County Championship were ended last week when Kent secured a hard-fought victory at Lord’s - winning inside seven sessions by three wickets.
Defeat and a haul of just three points for Middlesex saw them drop to fifth spot in the table, as this week’s opponents, Derbyshire, secured a nail-biting one wicket win themselves over Northants at Wantage Road, to pick up twenty points and climb above Middlesex to fourth in the table.
Kent’s victory last week saw them do the double over Middlesex this season, and victory for Derbyshire this week would see them secure the very same outcome, having beaten Malan’s men by 101 runs at the 3aaa County Ground back in April in game week two.
Middlesex head into this week’s clash without the experience and pace of Steven Finn, who will miss the remainder of the season to enter a long period of rehabilitation to focus on mending a knee injury which has plagued him for much of this season. His recovery will start immediately, and hopes are high that he will make a full recovery and Middlesex will see Finn back to his very best in 2019.
Captain Dawid Malan’s seam attack is however nicely bolstered by the return of the club’s two leading wicket-takers, Tim Murtagh and James Harris, who have 99 wickets between them this term, and both are named in the squad for the Derbyshire clash, having missed out on the visit of Kent last week.
Visitors Derbyshire have named a fourteen-man squad themselves for the trip to Lord’s, who will be captained by former Middlesex man Billy Godleman and including young Middlesex batsman Tom Lace, who is still on loan with Derbyshire. Lace could however miss out on the starting eleven at Lord’s, with Luis Reece named in Derbyshire’s squad, having now recovered from a long-spell out of the side.
Middlesex have named the following fifteen-man squad for the clash and will be looking to finish the season well, in the hope of restoring some pride with a couple of moral boosting victories…
Dawid Malan (captain)