Middlesex Head Coach Stuart Law names a thirteen man squad for tonight's Vitality Blast clash against Surrey at the Oval, with Max Holden added to the squad of twelve who agonisingly lost to Essex last night off the final ball of the game.
Despite an array of positives to come from their latest Blast encounter against the Eagles at Lord's, Middlesex must again pick themselves up ahead of another tough trip tonight, when they'll face their London rivals south of the river.
On a night where so many positives could be taken, it proved to be another frustrating and disappointing evening for Middlesex, as the gloss was taken off Stephen Eskinazi's brilliant maiden T20 hundred at Lord's last night, after the opener had showed all his class when smashing an unbeaten hundred (102*) off just 61 balls. It was an innings that should have stolen all the headlines!
His superb knock took Middlesex to a total of 183 for 2, which looked a little short of par on what was a very good batting surface at Lord's , especially after the start Eskinazi and Cracknell had given their side and with wickets aplenty in hand.
Solid knocks from Joe Cracknell (29 off 23), who continued his good form with the bat this term having been promoted to the opening spot, and from new man Daryl Mitchell (29 from 24), who was making his debut for the Club, will have given Law plenty of encouragement.
With the ball, the return of Tom Helm added another dimension to the Middlesex attack, who was as reliable as ever with the white-ball, bowling with good variation and pace, whilst Mitchell, with all his international experience, looks to be very useful signing, as the New Zealander showed a calm head to pick up three wickets towards the end of the Essex innings when the pressure was firmly on.
Steven Finn, returning to the captaincy role, marshalled the side well, and despite the result last night, which was an agonising way to lose, can head to the Oval tonight looking to build on the positives to come out of the Essex game.
It was a night at Lord's where the cruelty of T20 cricket as a format was plainly evident, and on another night the result could have been so different, which could equally be said of the defeat to Gloucestershire at Radlett. Reverse those two results and Middlesex would be on six points, on the edge of the qualification spots, whereas we find ourselves at the bottom, looking for a first win in four at the Oval tonight.
It's not too late to turn things around, and in a format where momentum is everything, as no better shown than by the Second Eleven T20 side recently, who won six straight games to reach t20 finals day after picking up only ne point from their opening four games, Middlesex can still push on.
For what is a huge game tonight, with Middlesex needing to win to launch any challenge, Stuart Law names a thirteen-man squad, as follows.
Steven Finn (c)
John Simpson (wk)