Wednesday, 16th August 2006

Shah hundred sets up deserved Middlesex success.


Vs: Lancashire

Match: 40L 1

Venue: Old Trafford

One day

Middlesex gained a vital Nat West Pro 40 League win under the Old Trafford floodlights where, after a delay of 130 minutes due to rain, Lancashire were unable to score a revised target of 97 runs in 12 overs, Middlesex winning by 12 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Middlesex, who won the toss and elected to bat, were without Jamie Dalrymple who failed a fitness test and Chris Silverwood, rested ahead of the four day championship match the following day. Paul Weekes took eleven runs off the opening over from Dominic Cork but the bowler had his revenge in his following over when he had Weekes caught at the wicket for sixteen.

Owais Shah began in watchful mode, facing sixteen deliveries before he scored his first run but with Ed Smith added 64 runs for the second wicket before Smith fell for 35 to a caught and bowled chance from Keedy’s slow left arm spin. Ed Joyce joined Shah at the wicket, and at the half-way point Middlesex had reached only 87-2. The pair found runs hard to come by against the spin of Keedy and Marshall and eight overs went by without a single boundary. Shah reached his fifty off 78 balls (5 fours) before Joyce went down the wicket only to be stumped off Keedy having made 22.

Scott Styris scored a run a ball thirteen before he holed out off Chapple in an over which cost the bowler fourteen runs. Runs came fast and furious with Middlesex scoring 103 runs off the final ten overs, with Eoin Morgan scoring eighteen runs off just seven balls faced and Compton hitting an extraordinary six off the first ball he faced. Shah accelerated his innings superbly, reaching his second hundred in the competition off 114 balls (2 sixes & 8 fours). Shah was125 not out (off 128 balls, 2 sixes & 12 fours) at the end of the innings which finished at 244-6.

During the interval, heavy rain set in and it looked as though both sides would have to settle for a point each. However the rain ceased and those spectators who remained were rewarded by a pulsating twelve overs as Lancashire chased the revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 97 runs.

Middlesex got off to a great start, with Chad Keegan, having been struck for six off the second ball of the innings, trapping Loye LBW next ball and having Law caught off the final ball of the over for a duck. Scott Styris opened the bowling from the Brian Statham End and had Croft caught by keeper Ben Scott off a top edge to reduce Lancashire to 13-3 after just nine balls of the innings.

Chilton and Astle added 40 runs for the fourth wicket off 24 balls before Chris Peploe had Chilton stumped for 17. Johann Louw conceded ten runs off the first five balls of his over before he had Astle caught at deep mid-wicket for 21. Chapple was run out by Ed Smith’s throw to the bowlers end in the following over to leave Lancashire needing 35 runs off the remaining four overs.

Only three singles were scored off Louw’s second over before Paul Weekes came on to bowl the tenth over. Hogg was caught by Ed Joyce off Weekes’ third delivery before Cork was dropped by the same fielder first ball, which trickled over the boundary for four. Twenty four runs were needed off the final two overs, but after Louw conceded two singles off the first two deliveries of the 11th over he bowled Sutton for 14. A two and two singles were scored off the remainder of the over to leave Lancashire needing 18 off the final over from Paul Weekes.

A single was scored off the first ball before Marshall was bowled off the second. Two runs were scored off the third delivery with a leg bye and a single being scored off the next two balls before Keedy was caught and bowled off a top edge off the final ball of the match to secure Middlesex a thoroughly deserved victory.

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