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After a five-day absence from first-team action, Middlesex make a return in the Vitality Blast on Thursday night for the big one, the London derby, when we’ll take on our rivals Surrey at the Home of Cricket. First Team Coach Richard Johnson has named a squad of fourteen for the game.

The last clash between the two sides was that epic, record-breaking encounter at the Oval towards the end of last season’s campaign, when we successfully chased down a mammoth Surrey total to win by seven wickets.

Middlesex’s run-chase was the highest T20 Blast run chase ever recorded – a record that still stands today, and it was a chase that will live long in the memories of those lucky enough to witness it. Oh, what we’d do, for a repeat of that on Thursday night!

This season hasn’t yet lived up to those heights however, with us heading into Thursday’s clash with just three points on the board from our opening seven matches in the 2024 competition.

If we’re to launch any kind of campaign to push for progression in the competition, we’ll need to turn a corner now, before it’s too late, and one can only hope that Thursday presents an opportunity to do so as we look to hit some late form in the group stages.

Our only win of this year’s campaign came against Kent in Canterbury, when by far our most accomplished performance saw us run out winners by four wickets against the Spitfires.

Losses in our opening three games, to Kent at Chelmsford, Essex at Chelmsford, and Glamorgan at Lord's came before that win, followed by defeat to Somerset at Lord's, before the 'summer' weather started playing havoc with our fixtures

Heavy rain saw our game against Essex at Lord's shortened to a six over slog, with us set the huge target of 80 from just 36 balls, whilst at Hampshire last time out at the Utilita Bowl, heavy showers ended our innings prematurely, and with it any hope of completing the match, with both sides settling for a point apiece.

This leaves us realistically needing to win six of our remaining seven matches to put us in with any shout of progression, making a win on Thursday all the more crucial against Surrey.

It should be a belting atmosphere at Lord’s, with the biggest crowd of the season expected in attendance, and the England v Denmark European Championship fixture being shown live on a big screen on the Nursery End and in bars around the ground prior to the Blast entertainment getting underway, which will provide the perfect backdrop for the passion of a London derby.

Surrey’s 2024 Blast journey to Lord’s has seen them maintain the solid form they’ve shown in the competition in recent seasons, as they’ve won four of their opening six encounters this term.

They kicked things off with three consecutive wins against Hampshire, Glamorgan, and Somerset, before suffering their only defeat of their campaign at the hands of Sussex at the Oval.

They bounced back from that one defeat, earning a point from a nail-biting tied game with Gloucestershire, before winning last time out, exacting revenge on Sussex for their earlier defeat with a win down on the South Coast.

Surrey currently sit in second place in the South Group table, with nine points in the bag, trailing Somerset by just one point with a game in hand.

Jamie Smith has been Surrey’s standout performer with the bat in the Blast to date, hitting 276 runs at an average of 46.00, which sees him sat as the second highest run-scorer in the competition to this point, just six runs behind Leicestershire’s Rishi Patel.

Smith is followed in the run-scoring charts at Surrey by Ollie Pope (190 runs), Laurie Evans (124) and Jason Roy (122).

With the ball it’s Tom Curran who is leading the way, with thirteen wickets to his name, with left-armer Spencer Johnson following up on eight wickets, and both Dan Lawrence and Sean Abbott on seven.

Middlesex will need no other motivation to perform than facing their rivals Surrey on Thursday, although against tough opposition, we'll need to be at the top of our game to come out on top. With so much riding on the game, we'll be hoping to repeat our victory last time out against Surrey, and we can only hope that our plans come together and we can secure that much needed victory.

We have named the following fourteen-man squad for the London derby clash:

If you aren't making it to Lord's tomorrow night, make sure you join us on the enhanced live stream, being broadcast from Lord's by Middlesex Cricket, available to watch on the Club's YouTube channel or on the Club's website in the Match Centre.

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Related fixture

Thu 20 June
Start Time: 19:00
Duration: 1 day

Middlesex Middlesex
Surrey Surrey

Surrey won by 56 runs