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With Middlesex going down to Essex last night, in a frustrating rain affected match at Lord’s, we travel to Southampton today, for a Vitality Blast clash at 7pm against Hampshire at the Utilita Bowl.

We have named an unchanged squad of fifteen for the clash, which includes Leus du Plooy, who has missed the last two matches, laid up with a viral infection that has rendered him too unwell to play.

With du Plooy having rested up for a few days, the hope is that he’ll be fit and available to feature for Middlesex in tonight’s clash.

Last night, with heavy rain forecast and a high likelihood of the match being interrupted, Middlesex skipper Stephen Eskinazi did the right thing when winning the toss in inserting the Essex batters.

The visitors went on the attack from the off, and aggressive innings from Adam Rossington, Dean Elgar, Michael Pepper and Jordan Cox got them up to 129 for 4 when the rain came, forcing the players to leave the field and head to the Pavilion for cover.

A lengthy delay eventually saw the umpires call an end to the Essex innings, with a restart set for 8.35pm, leaving Middlesex a target of 143 from 12 overs to secure victory!

Literally, as the first ball of the restart was about to be bowled, the rain returned, and another frustrating delay ensued.

With time running out, the ground staff rallied and got the pitch clear for a shortened run chase, which left Middlesex the very tall order of needing 80 to win from just 6 overs.

A valiant effort saw Eskinazi hit well up top, and Max Holden follow suit, however we ultimately fell short, to leave Essex winners by 16 runs via the DLS method.

It was another disappointing and frustrating night for Middlesex, who certainly came off worst from the rain interruptions, however the side have no time to dwell on that frustration, as we head to Southampton for another go tonight.

It was Middlesex’s fifth defeat of the campaign, with just the one win, and it leaves us needing to turn a corner rapidly if we are to salvage anything in the Blast this year.

Realistically, 15 points or more gives you a fair crack at making the knockout stages, so Middlesex will be targeting tonight’s clash with Hampshire as the first of at least six games that we’ll have to win from our remaining eight matches, to give us a shot of progressing in the competition.

Hampshire currently lie in sixth place in the South Group, on five points from five games played and in a good position at this stage to progress to the knockouts.

They opened their campaign with defeat by five wickets at home to Surrey, before bouncing back with a three wicket win against Kent in round two. They backed this up with a second win against Gloucestershire, by five wickets in Bristol, before being on the wrong end of a hammering to Somerset, who ran out winners by 63 runs in Taunton.

Whilst Middlesex suffered from the rain that fell on Lord’s last night, Hampshire claimed a point down in Cardiff, as heavy rain all day in Wales forced the abandonment of their game against Glamorgan without a ball being bowled.

Local lads Joe Weatherley (124 runs at an average of 31.00) and Toby Albert (104 runs at 34.66) are tonight’s hosts leading run-scorers to this point of the competition, whilst with the ball wickets have been spread across their attack. Michael Neser and Chris Wood lead the way, with six wickets apiece, with John Turner and James Fuller close behind on five and Liam Dawson on four.

For Middlesex, we have four batters who have passed the hundred runs mark to this point, with Holden (153) leading the way. Eskinazi (129), Martin Andersson (116) and Ryan Higgins (110) are next in line.

With the ball, Luke Hollman has been the standout bowler for Middlesex in the Blast, with 9 wickets to his name already at the best economy rate of all the Middlesex bowlers. Tom Helm’s 6 wickets, Blake Cullen’s 5, and Henry Brookes’ 4 see them next in the list of wicket-takers this term.

Hampshire had the better of both meetings between the two sides last season, winning in Southampton by 8 wickets, and at Radlett by 5 runs, whilst in 2022 the honours were shared, with Middlesex winning in Southampton by 10 runs and Hampshire victorious at Lord’s by nine wickets.

Tonight’s clash represents an opportunity for Middlesex to turn things around, and we’ll be hoping to get the second win of our campaign under our belts.

Middlesex’s fifteen-man squad for tonight’s clash is as follows:

For those looking to watch tonight’s action, you can watch a live stream of the game provided by our hosts Hampshire, which will be available to watch on the Middlesex website.

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Related fixture

Fri 14 June
Utilita Bowl
Start Time: 19:00
Duration: 1 day

Hampshire Hawks Hampshire Hawks
Middlesex Middlesex

Match Abandoned