Middlesex Head Coach Stuart Law has named a squad of fourteen for this week’s LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, starting tomorrow.
His side will head to Southampton with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths, after Somerset pulled off an incredible comeback at Lord’s in the season’s opening four-day encounter, to secure a four wicket win with a session of the game to spare.
Middlesex were left ruing what could and should have been at Lord’s, as for the opening two days they dominated proceedings against one of the sides tipped for a top table finish and were seemingly in complete control of the match going into day three. What transpired after this will leave Law and his Middlesex side questioning quite where it all went wrong, as momentum shifted Somerset’s way as the game evolved, with Somerset showing just why they’re one of this season’s favourites.
Captain Stephen Eskinazi spoke honestly and frankly of his and his sides’ disappointment at the end of the four days at Lord’s, and he and his teammates will need to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and make sure they take their A-game to the Ageas Bowl, where they’ll face a Hampshire side who romped to victory in the opening round, demolishing Leicestershire by an innings and 105 runs.
Hampshire had hundreds from Tom Alsop and Liam Dawson, and a double hundred from James Vince to thank for setting them up a massive first innings total of 612 for 5 declared, before former Middlesex man Kyle Abbott and Mason Crane did the damage with the ball to see their side to an innings victory.
The manner of the defeat to Somerset at Lord’s will be most disappointing for Law’s side, however, there were positives to take – most notably the performance of opener Sam Robson, who hit a magnificent 165 in the first innings, a half century from skipper Stephen Eskinazi, who continued his good pre-season form with another solid knock, and the seam pairing of Tim Murtagh and Ethan Bamber, who took five and six wickets respectively in the match and bowled with menace in both Somerset innings. Law will be looking for more of the same for these against Hampshire this week, and will be hopeful that his batters can join Robson and Eskinazi in the runs.
There is one change to the squad that was named to face Somerset, with the omission of a frontline spinner being addressed for the Hampshire clash, as Nathan Sowter makes the squad for the trip to the South Coast in favour of unused seamer at Lord’s Blake Cullen.
Middlesex name the following fourteen man squad for this week’s trip:
Stephen Eskinazi (captain)
John Simpson (wk)