Middlesex's Vitality Blast campaign concludes tomorrow with an away trip to Chelmsford to face an Essex Eagles side whose own hopes of qualifying for the next stages of the competition are now over, after they suffered defeat to Hampshire last night.
In what has been a disappointing campaign to date, it hit rock bottom last night, as hosting Kent Spitfires at Lord's, Middlesex were dismissed for their lowest ever total in T20 history, when rolled for just 80 against a Kent side that featured seven debutants after wholesale Covid isolations hit the visitors this week.
Head Coach Stuart Law spoke of his huge disappointment after the game at the manner in which his side lost the game last night, and whilst credit was given to Kent, who arrived at Lord's with a side largely full of strangers, they grabbed their moment and outplayed his Middlesex side, with Law stating his disappointment at both the way we performed in the field and with the bat.
Law alluded to changes that need to be made becoming more apparent as the season rolls on, however before that can happen, his side will need to shake off the disappointment of last night's chastening defeat and look to finish strong against Essex tomorrow to gain some confidence ahead of the Royal London Cup campaign, which starts next Sunday with an away trip against tomorrow's opponents at the same venue.
The only bright moment, on an otherwise poor night for Middlesex was the continued improvement of young seamer Blake Cullen, who has really shone this year, and continues to grab all the opportunities Law gives him. Another four wicket haul last night took him to eighteen wickets in the competition to date, and he is now the Club's leading wicket taker in this format of the game.
With pride, the passion of members and fans, and the honour of wearing the shirt at stake, Stuart Law and his coaches will be looking for the Middlesex players to play with heart and passion at Chelmsford tomorrow, to prove not only that they're up for the fight, but to stake a claim for their names to be first on the team sheet when the fifty over competition kicks off.
Law names an unchanged squad for tomorrow's clash, with the same fourteen players involved last night keeping their places, although Middlesex will need permission from Essex to play Chopra, who is on loan from them, although with Essex now unable to qualify for the knockout places it is hoped that an agreement can be reached for him to play.
Middlesex's fourteen man squad is as follows:
Steven Finn (captain)
Josh De Caires
John Simpson (wk)
Mujeeb ur Rahman