Monday, 13th June 2005

Last ball win sees Middlesex back to the top

FIXTURE

Vs: Northamptonshire

Match: 40L 1

Venue: Northampton

Day 1

Middlesex won a thrilling Totesport match at Northampton off the last ball of the match to regain the lead at the top of the league.

Needing to score at over a run a ball for victory, Paul Weekes and Ed Smith put on 41 in six overs before Weekes was caught in the slips for 19. Smith and Shah kept the momentum up with Shah hitting Wright for two sixes in the space of three balls.

The total reached 84, before disaster struck when both batsmen were dismissed in the space of three balls. Firstly, Smith was trapped LBW for 34 (off 29 ball, with 7 fours) by Pietersen and Shah was caught behind for a run a ball 21.

Scott Styris was run out in the 20th over to leave Middlesex on 121-4 after 20 overs. Ed Joyce joined Dalrymple at the wicket and they batted extremely well pushing the ones and twos with the occasional boundary. Dalrymple reached his fifty off 55 balls and the partnership had added 90 runs for the fifth wicket when Dalrymple was caught & bowled by Brown for 76 (off 76 balls, with 8 fours).

At this point a further 73 runs were needed off the last 10 overs. Joyce reached his fifty off 57 balls, and with good support from Ben Scott, they took the total to 270 before Joyce was caught for 74 (off 78 deliveries with 1 six and 5 fours).

With two overs left 13 runs were needed, but off the first ball of the 44th Ben Hutton was bowled behind his legs second ball, but Melvyn Betts and Scott added four funs off the remaining five balls.

Two singles were scored off the first two balls of the last over, but Ben Scott was run out at the bowlers end attempting a quick single off the third. Melvyn Betts scored two twos off the fourth and fifth balls to leave three runs required off the last ball.

Betts drove the last ball towards the deep extra cover boundary but the fielder, attempting to prevent a second run, fumbled the ball, and Betts and Chris Wright scampered through for a third run to win the match.

Middlesex had earlier not distinguished themselves in the field, conceding a total of 20 wides and six no-balls as Northamptonshire rattled up a total of 283-1 off their 45 overs.

Love and Afzaal both scored hundreds, putting on an unbroken 227 runs for the second wicket. Love made 111 off 130 balls (14 fours) and Afzaal 122 off 120 balls (1 six and 15 fours).

Scott Styris was the pick of the bowlers, conceding 33 runs off his 9 overs, and Alan Richardson after bowling 9 wides in his opening spell, recovered well to finish with 0-40 in his 9 overs.


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