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Middlesex face the Essex Eagles in their final home fixture of this year's Vitality Blast campaign tomorrow afternoon, and Head Coach Richard Johnson has brought in two new bowlers to the group, with pacemen Max Harris and Toby Greatwood added to the squad, with Blake Cullen dropping out..

Middlesex head into the clash having tasted defeat again last night, this time at the hands of the Kent Spitfires, in another performance that will have given the Middlesex side plenty of evidence that progress is being made, despite that elusive win still evading them.

It was another night of huge frustration, in a run chase that just fell short, with the defeat overshadowing an incredible knock of 121 not out from Max Holden, which came off just 59 balls at a strike rate of over 205. On any other night, Holden should have have been celebrating a victory with his teammates at the end of the game!

With Kent winning the toss and choosing to bat on a very good Lord's surface, it was the Middlesex bowlers who started well, with the Spitfires restricted to just eleven off the opening two powerplay overs.

From there however the visitors' batters took control, as the experienced pairing of Daniel Bell-Drummond (66 off 42 balls) and Joe Denly (73* off 37 balls) both hit half-centuries to take the Spitfires to what proved to be a match winning total of 228 for 3.

It was a night when the bowling units' plans didn't come off, with Kent's batters cashing in, leaving Middlesex facing a daunting run chase that looked to be above par.

In reply, undeterred, Middlesex stuck to their task well, and batted with positivity and intent throughout, although the loss of crucial wickets at key times ultimately proved telling.

Holden's knock was simply sublime though, his career-best in this format, and his second t20 century for the Club, although even his efforts weren't enough to get his side over the line, as having kept up with the required run rate for fifteen overs, the task was just beyond them, falling to a 13 run defeat, despite hitting 215 for 7 in reply!

Yes, the wins aren't coming yet, but there's certainly plenty of belief that things are moving in the right direction and progress is being made with the performances the side are starting to deliver.

Tomorrow's clash with the Essex Eagles sees Middlesex taking on a side who sit in third place in the South Group table, having won 6 of their opening 8 encounters this year, with their sights set firmly on securing a place in the competition's knockout stages.

Their last victory came just last night, at home against Glamorgan in Chelmsford, when a half-century from opener Feroze Khushi (61 off 37 balls) saw them chase down a target of 176 to secure a four wicket victory with four overs to spare.

In Essex Middlesex will face tough opposition tomorrow, and a side in good form, who come to Lord's having won each of their last four Blast matches.

Their run-scoring has been spread around the side, with five batters weighing in with more than 150 runs in this campaign, as have their wickets, with four of their bowlers having taken twelve or more wickets for the Eagles in this campaign. Paul Walter leads the way with the bat, with 180 runs at 22.50, whilst Daniel Sams leads their wicket-taking, with fifteen at 15.13.

Middlesex will need to be on it in all departments tomorrow, executing their plans with both bat and ball to perfection, as they look to get their first points on the board in 2023.

The squad of fifteen for tomorrow's clash with the Essex Eagles is as follows:

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Related fixture

Sun 18 June
Start Time: 14:30
Duration: 1 day

Middlesex Middlesex
Essex Essex

Essex won by 22 runs (DLS method)