Tuesday, 5th September 2006

Injury hit Middlesex slip to fourth Pro40 league defeat


Vs: Nottinghamshire

Match: 40L 1

Venue: Lord's

One day

Middlesex slipped to their fourth Nat West Pro40 League defeat of the season and face an uphill struggle to avoid relegation with only two matches remaining. They were not helped by injuries which deprived them further, losing Keegan, Silverwood and Styris from the bowling attack at Scarborough the previous week.

Middlesex won the toss and invited Nottinghamshire to bat in humid, overcast conditions. Johann Louw conceded only fifteen runs off his opening five overs from the Pavilion End, bowling Paul Franks for ten. Chris Whelan making a rare first team appearance was more expensive, but had Fleming dropped by Shah at slip before he had the same player caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary in his following over.

Chris Wright, also making a rare first team appearance, bowled a tidy six overs for 21 runs before he was replaced by Paul Weekes to bowl in tandem with Chris Peploe’s left arm spin. Will Smith reached his fifty off 73 deliveries before he was bowled by Peploe for 53. The same bowler accounted for Patel, off a return chance for 46 to reduce the visitors to 144-4 with 10.5 overs remaining.

Peploe took his third wicket when he lured Mark Ealham down the track having him stumped by Ben Scott for fourteen. Hussey struck 44 not out off 36 deliveries as a further 64 runs were scored off the remaining 41 deliveries of the innings. Chris Peploe had figures of 3-35 off his eight overs.

The Middlesex openers, Smith and Weekes, were tied down early on by Sidebottom and Harris, the former conceding only one run in his first three overs. The score advanced to 49 before Shreck had Smith caught be his namesake for 22. Three balls later, Harris who had transferred to the Pavilion End, had Weekes caught for 24.

With two new batsmen in the asking rate per over had reached seven an over when skipper Ben Hutton was caught at the wicket off Harris for fifteen. Owais Shah (11) was out in Ealham’s opening over and when Nick Compton was trapped LBW for six by the same bowler, half the side were out for 98.

Eoin Morgan played a gem of an innings to give Middlesex hope, but he ran himself out having made 56 off just 36 deliveries (2 sixes & 6 fours), beaten by a return to the bowlers end. His partnership with Ben Scott added 52 runs for the sixth wicket in seven overs, leaving Middlesex needing a further 79 runs off the last nine overs.

Chris Peploe (3) was another run our victim before Ben Scott was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary after the ball had been parried into the hands of Harris for 21. Johann Louw struck well; making 29 off 21 balls, but the task was too much for the remaining batsmen as Middlesex were all out for 204 with three balls of the match left.

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