MIDDLESEX NAME SQUAD OF FOURTEEN FOR BLAST CLASH WITH SURREY
Middlesex Head Coach Stuart Law has named a fourteen-man squad for Saturday’s visit to the Kia Oval, where his side will take on London rivals Surrey in the Vitality Blast.
Saturday’s derby is game two of a Sky televised double-header at the Kia Oval, with Middlesex’s clash against Surrey starting at 6.35pm, after the Essex Eagles have taken on the Kent Spitfires in game one at the neutral Sky venue at 1.05pm.
Law’s fourteen-man squad sees just one change to the squad named for last night’s clash against Essex Eagles, with Nick Gubbins dropping out of the group.
Middlesex’s young side were magnificent last night, overcoming an experienced Essex Eagles outfit at Lord’s by eleven runs, to secure their first win of the 2020 Blast campaign at the fourth attempt.
That win took Middlesex to third in the South Group table, just one point behind Sussex and two behind leaders Kent.
Law’s side, radically remodelled from the side that reached the quarter-finals last year, have shown in each outing this term that they’re up for the fight, and performances in each and every game will have given him plenty of encouragement that his inexperienced outfit can mount a serious challenge.
There are runs flowing at the top of the order, as Stephen Eskinazi was again in great form, hitting his third consecutive half-century of what has been a brilliant Blast campaign to date, with his opening partner Max Holden also showing signs of being at his best, smashing 46 off just 25 deliveries, to back up the hundred he hit against the same opponents in Middlesex’s opener in Chelmsford.
Young leg-spinner Luke Hollman, is grabbing his opportunity, and was deservedly named as the Knight Frank Player of the Match last night, after hitting an unbeaten 25 and then bowling with guile beyond his years to take 2 for 26 with his leg-spin.
Law’s side, under the leadership of Steven Finn, are clearly enjoying the challenge, and are playing with smiles on their faces and showing great signs of togetherness, and Finn’s rotation of the bowlers last night was game defining.
Saturday’s opponents Surrey got off the mark last night too, with a nine wicket win against Hampshire, to record their first win of the season in any format. Will Jacks was the star for them with the bat, hitting an unbeaten 45, whilst the seasoned Hashim Amla, added a watchful 29 as his fellow opener.
A depleted Surrey side looks significantly under strength this year and Middesex will be optimistic that a trip South of the river tomorrow will see them come out on top and bag the points, ahead of a break from the Blast, as they then head to Chelmsford on Sunday to begin their final Bob Willis Trophy group clash of the summer, in a winner takes all encounter against Essex.
Law’s fourteen-man squad for tomorrow is as follows:
Steven Finn (captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)