SQUAD AND MATCH PREVIEW – KENT VS MIDDLESEX
Middlesex have named a squad of fourteen for this week’s Division Three shootout in Canterbury as the top two sides in the table go head-to-head at the St Lawrence Spitfire Ground.
Heading into the season’s final round of County Championship matches, Middlesex have a two-point advantage over Kent and top the group on 77 points, and a draw could prove to be enough for the Seaxes to finish the season on a high and finish in pole position.
Middlesex’s recent run of form is a far cry from the results being returned earlier in the summer, and they head into the clash in terrific fettle, having won their last four County Championship matches on the bounce – the first time they’ve done that since the 1995 season. They’re a side playing with belief and confidence, and they’ll be targeting another strong performance and victory on the road this week in Kent.
Kent themselves however have also found some good form, and they are on the back of a three-game winning streak, having beaten Derbyshire, Worcestershire, and Leicestershire in recent outings. The only blemish on their 100% record in Division Three came in the opening week, when they could only muster a draw in a low scoring affair against Sussex in Canterbury.
Middlesex make just the one change to the squad that was named to face Worcestershire at Lord’s last week, with Blake Cullen the only absentee. Despite his withdrawal, skipper Tim Murtagh still has a healthy selection of in-form seamers to pick from, along with two options in the spin department. The batting unit, which has started to fire, have seen runs spread throughout the top and middle order, and their confidence is growing with every result.
It promises to be a thrilling four days of cricket down in Canterbury, and whilst vying for the Division Three top spot is by no means where Middlesex would have wanted their season to end, to be closing out the season as a side that is not only competing, but one that is hard to beat and killing off games to secure victories, is significant progress and a huge positive to take into next season.
Middlesex have named the following fourteen-man squad for the clash with Kent:
Tim Murtagh (captain)
John Simpson (wicket keeper)