On Sunday Middlesex host Worcestershire in the County Championship at Mill Hill School. This is the London side's second competitive match of the season and they will be looking to register their first win in the competition.
Middlesex have named a strong batting line up consisting of likely openers in skipper and vice Naomi Dattani and Natasha Miles, England allrounder Sophia Dunkley, former England batter Beth Morgan and Scottish international Olivia Rae.
Miles played in her first match of the season last weekend - a friendly against Hampshire - and was timing the ball nicely, finding the boundary on six occasions on her way to 31 which bodes well for this fixture. Dunkley too looked comfortable at the crease, top-scoring with 46 - an innings which included five fours. Morgan also batted well making 27 and will be important in providing stability to the middle order. Rae is in good form following an impressive unbeaten knock of 43 (including four fours and a six) against Hampshire which guided Middlesex to within 46 runs of their target. Rae showed her experience; punishing the bad balls and rotating the strike well with the lower-order. Wicketkeeper Iqraa Hussain has batted in the middle to lower-order and made useful contributions to date and will hope to continue to do so.
Right arm quick Gayatri Gole will likely take the new ball and should be confident following a good first spell against New Zealand batter Suzie Bates last weekend. Young allrounder Sonali Patel, seamer Rebecca Tyson and left-armer Dattani round out the pace attack Middlesex can call on. In the spin department, Bhavika Gajipra has been a key bowler and will be looking to build on her impressive 4-20 she claimed from seven overs against Hampshire. Fellow spinners; off-break bowler Emma Albery and leggies Emily Thorpe and Dunkley are also likely to play key roles in tying the batters up. Dattani will probably bowl spinners in tandem to build pressure with the aim of forcing batters into playing false strokes.
There are several Worcestershire players Middlesex will need to play carefully and look to keep quiet with the bat. Allrounder Clare Boycott proved key for the visitor's last season claiming 15 wickets at 19.07 and scoring 327 runs at 36.33. Wicketkeeper Chloe Hill, who has been part of the Middlesex/MCC Academy for the last two years, is another important batter who made 330 runs at 27.50 in 2018 and was also tidy behind the stumps, taking seven catches and nine stumpings. Worcestershire will be aiming to get their first Division Two win after promotion last year.
The match starts at 11am and is free entry for all.
Contributed by Georgia Isaac, Middlesex Women’s Media Assistant