Middlesex Head Coach Stuart Law has named an unchanged squad of fourteen for this afternoon's 5pm Vitality Blast South Group clash against Glamorgan in Cardiff, with his side looking to bounce back from the disappointment and frustration of a bizarre DLS defeat to Gloucestershire last night.
In slightly surreal and almost farcical circumstances at Radlett last night, Middlesex can quite rightly feel frustrated at some of the decision making by the match officials, which played a large part in the result going against them last night.
With the game played under leaden skies, bad light was always going to be a concern, yet no one quite knew what a significant impact it would have on the game until late in the day.
Having set Gloucestershire a target of 180 to win, the umpires informed Middlesex skipper Eoin Morgan at the end of the twelfth over of the visitors reply over that he could no longer utilise his pace bowlers any more, given the light conditions. At this stage, Gloucestershire were ahead of the DLS and had the game been called early, the visitors would have walked off as the winners.
Morgan, instead, with options in the spin department at his disposal, was forced to bowl spin for the next five overs, with Paul Stirling bowling the seventeenth over, which ended with Middlesex well in front on DLS calculations - and had the game been called off at this stage, would have secured victory for them.
With no spin options left to turn to, Morgan had no option but to return to pace, which, after much deliberation, the umpires agreed was now acceptable, despite the light conditions having noticeably worsened. Steven Finn returned to the action after a lengthy break, and was duly despatched for two maximums in the over, the last one coming from a mis-timed top edge off the final ball of the eighteenth over to take Gloucestershire two runs ahead of the DLS calculations!
At this stage, to further compound Middlesex's frustrations, it began to rain, the umpires took the players off the field, the game was called, and Gloucestershire were declared the winners by two runs on the DLS method.
A hugely frustrating night, which Law and his players will need to bury and put behind them ahead of this evening's clash against Glamorgan, and they must simply focus on the many positives to take from two solid performances in the competition this week.
The continued form of overseas signing Chris Green, the impressive performances from young all-rounder Luke Hollman, runs from skipper Morgan and keeper John Simpson, the return to fitness of the experienced Tim Murtagh, the continued performances of young paceman Blake Cullen, and two hugely impressive knocks from Joe Cracknell are just a few of them to focus on ahead of today's encounter.
Law's unchanged squad looks to have more balance in it now, with the return of Murtagh offering more variety in the pace attack, and the Middlesex side will be hopeful of bouncing back to winning ways in Wales tonight against a side that have struggled for consistency in the short format of the game thus far.
Tonight will be Paul Stirling's and Eoin Morgan's last outings in the Blast this year with Middlesex, as Stirling is replaced in the squad by new Zealand international Daryl Mitchell for the remainder of the tournament, whilst Morgan heads off to the international bubble to join up with England, with Afghanistan international Mujeeb ur Rahman scheduled to join up with the squad soon.
Both Glamorgan and Middlesex hold the same record this term, with just one win from four games played, and a win for Middlesex tonight would see them climb the table and set themselves up well for a return to Lord's next Thursday when they face Essex.
The last time the two sides met in Cardiff Middlesex secured an eight wicket win, and that'll be just the tonic Middlesex need to shake off the disappointment of last night.
Middlesex’s fourteen man squad is as follows:
Eoin Morgan (captain)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)