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Middlesex's First Team Coach Richard Johnson has named a squad of fourteen for our penultimate Group A Royal London Cup clash in the Royal London Cup against Gloucestershire tomorrow at Radlett Cricket Club, with just one addition to the squad named to face Warwickshire yesterday.

Johnson has called up veteran seamer Tim Murtagh to the squad for tomorrow's clash, whose addition adds depth, experience and variety to the Middlesex seam unit.

A thumping 128 run victory for Middlesex over Warwickshire at Radlett yesterday saw Middlesex temporarily reclaim top spot in the Group A table, for a short while anyway, before Sussex completed a demolition of Somerset later in the day, securing a massive 201 run victory themselves.

Whilst victory for Middlesex saw the side secure their fifth straight victory in the competition, qualification for the knockout stages is still very much up in the air, as in a tightly contested Group A table, each of Middlesex, Sussex, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and even Nottinghamshire can still mathematically still qualify, although with Leicestershire playing Nottinghamshire today, a win for the Foxes would take them back to the top of the table and kill off any outside hopes the Outlaws are clinging on to.

One thing for certain is that a win tomorrow for Middlesex against Gloucestershire would secure Middlesex's place in the knockout stages, and all but put an end to Gloucestershire's hopes too, and then it will be all eyes on fixtures elsewhere to determine how the table sits after Sunday's games, ahead of the climax of the group stages on Tuesday, when the final four matches in Group A will be contested.

In all likelihood, securing a home tie in the knockout stages for Middlesex, whether that be a semi-final spot or a 2nd/3rd place play-off tie, could well come down to us needing to travel to Hove on Tuesday and secure a win against Sussex, against a dangerous white-ball outfit, who like Middlesex are bang in form in the fifty-over competition right now.

Middlesex's run of five straight wins is the best run of form in List-A competitions since 2004, when Middlesex won five straight matches in Division Two of the Totesport League, in a season that saw them secure promotion to the top flight of the 45-over league competition. The following season saw Middlesex finish as runners-up in Division One behind Essex, in what was to be the final year of 45-over List-A cricket, before the competition was re-formatted and became the NatWest Pro 40 competition.

Against Warwickshire yesterday, Middlesex delivered their strongest all round team performance yet, smashing the second highest ever List-A total, 374 for 3, with yet another hundred from skipper Stephen Eskinazi (102 off 107 balls) a second hundred of the competition for an in-form Sam Robson (111 off 107 balls), and powerful half-centuries to end the innings in style from both Max Holden (62 off 33 balls) and Pieter Malan (59 off 30 balls). It was a brilliantly built innings and looked to be way above par on what didn't always look to be the easiest of surfaces to bat on.

In reply, each and every Middlesex bowler stood up and played a part, as not only did the bowling unit restrict Warwickshire's run rate, which saw the required rate per over climb steadily throughout their innings, but they took crucial wickets at key times too to further apply the brakes to any hopes that the visitors had of staying in the game. Luke Hollman's career best figures of 4 for 34 saw him stand out as the pick of the bunch, whilst Max Harris (2 for 53), Toby Greatwood (2 for 64), Umesh Yadav (1 for 41) and Martin Andersson (1 for 44) all played a key role with the ball.

Tomorrow's encounter against Gloucestershire promises to be an absolute thriller of an affair, with so much on the line, and Middlesex will be confident going into the game in the form they're in right now.

Gloucestershire are dangerous white-ball opponents however, and they come to Radlett in good form themselves, so Middlesex will need to be at their best again to secure the victory they need to bank a qualification spot.

Whilst all-rounder Ryan Higgins, recently re-signed by Middlesex on a four year deal, won't be featuring for the visitors, as he is with his Welsh Fire franchise at the Hundred, a batting unit containing Chris Dent, Marcus Harris, James Bracey and Jack Harris can never be underestimated, and their wickets will be key tomorrow in Middlesex's plans.

Taylor leads Gloucestershire's run scorings charts this term with 353 runs at 58.83, followed by Bracey with 286 runs at 47.66 and Marcus Harris with 275 at 39.28.

Their efforts are dwarfed however by the runs amassed by Eskinazi, who remains Middlesex's and the competition's leading run scorer, with a phenomenal 642 runs at an incredible average of 128.57, and Sam Robson, with 389 runs at 77.80, which now sees him sat as the competition's fourth highest run scorer overall.

With the ball, it's a similar story, with Taylor also leading Gloucestershire's wicket-taking charts, currently with 11 wickets at 21.27, closely followed by Paul Van Meekeren, also with 11 at 36.18, and former Middlesex spinner Tom Smith, with 10 wickets at 33.30.

For Middlesex, Umesh Yadav leads the way, with 16 wickets at 18.62, followed by leg-spinner Hollman, who now has 12 at 23.58. Yadav's haul sees him sat as the competition's second highest wicket taker, with Hollman moving into the top ten, currently sat in seventh place.

Whilst Middlesex have home advantage tomorrow, Radlett is a ground where the visitors have a lot of experience, however their last outing to Radlett earlier this summer in the Vitality Blast saw them beaten by their hosts by 30 runs.

The last List-A encounter between the two sides should have been last year on the 8th August, however this fixture was cancelled at the last minute due to an outbreak of Covid in the Gloucestershire camp.

Prior to that, the last time the two sides competed in List-A action was at Lord's in 2019, in a match that Middlesex won convincingly by 6 wickets, with Stephen Eskinazi again at the centre of the action, hitting an unbeaten 107 off 97 deliveries to see his side reach their victory target of 284 with over seven overs to spare.

Middlesex will be hoping to emulate that performance and result again tomorrow to bank themselves a knockout spot, and then hope that results elsewhere go their way to earn themselves a home tie, rather than needing to head to Hove on Tuesday requiring a win to secure home advantage.

It promises to be an absolute thriller in Radlett tomorrow, and Middlesex have named the following squad for the encounter:

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Related fixture

Sun 21 August
Royal London One-Day Cup - Group A
Radlett Cricket Club
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 1 day

Middlesex Middlesex
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire won by 5 wickets