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Middlesex make a return to four-day action this week, with a trip to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, where we'll take on a Hampshire side currently sitting in third place in the Division One table.

We have named a fourteen man squad for the encounter, with Toby Roland-Jones resuming his Captaincy role of the four-day side.

With the side engaged in Vitality Blast duties for the last four weeks, a number of the squad named in Middlesex's fourteen man group travelling to Southampton featured in the Second Eleven's recent County Championship clash with Somerset this week at Radlett, with some of the batters spending good time in the middle and the bowlers getting plenty of red-ball overs into their legs.

Sam Robson hit 96 in Middlesex's first innings, whilst Mark Stoneman hit a useful 40 in the second, and with the ball there were 4 wickets in the match for Roland-Jones, 3 for Ethan Bamber and 2 for Tim Murtagh, whilst Bamber also contributed with knocks of 25 and 56 not out with the bat.

Middlesex have won two of their six encounters to date, beating both Kent and Nottinghamshire, and we go into this week's clash with a game in hand on many of the sides in the Division, having missed out on the recent round of Championship matches.

Hampshire have won three and drawn one of the seven games they've played, and their tally of 82 points has them sat in third place in the table, although it's a congested table with only 23 points separating second placed Warwickshire and seventh placed Lancashire.

With all ten Division One sides in action this week, Middlesex will be hoping to return to the four-day format with a strong performance, and they'll be keen to address a shortage of first innings runs that has seen them earn just one batting point all season.

Both Somerset and Lancashire, who sit above Middlesex in sixth and seventh place, have just the one win to their names at this stage, one less than Middlesex, but with 14 and 11 batting points respectively, they have opened up a small gap which Middlesex will be keen to close.

In Hampshire, Middlesex will need to fend off a new ball attack that has been potent to date, with Mohammad Abbas currently the competition's second highest wicket taker, with 32 at just 17.84, with good support coming from his new ball partner Kyle Abbott, who has 19 at 24.15.

Middlesex's wicket-takers have also shone, with each of Bamber, Murtagh and Ryan Higgins all matching Abbott's haul, with 19 at 20.23, 20.71 and 21.36 respectively.

With the bat, James Vince has been the standout performer for Hampshire this term, hitting 579 runs at an average of 72.37, which sees him sat as the fifth highest Division One scorer at this stage of the competition. Former Middlesex man Nick Gubbins is next in line, with 420 runs at 42.00.

For Middlesex, Ryan Higgins has been the standout, just outperforming Gubbins, with 421 runs at 42.10, which along with the wickets he picked up in April, earned him the PCA's Player of the Month award for April 2023. He'll be keen to maintain that kind of form over the week ahead and hope to get support from those around him.

This match is the first of four County Championship matches Middlesex will play over the coming month, as we take on both Northamptonshire and Surrey at home at Merchant Taylors' School and Lord's respectively, followed by Warwickshire away at Edgbaston - all to come in what looks to be a season defining month of July.

Middlesex's fourteen-man squad for this week's clash against Hampshire is as follows:

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Related fixture

Sun 25 June
LV= Insurance County Championship - Division 1
Utilita Bowl
Start Time: 11:00
Duration: 4 days

Hampshire Hampshire
Middlesex Middlesex

Hampshire won by an innings and 61 runs