Sunday, 17th July 2005

Middlesex lose in Southgate run glut


Vs: Gloucestershire

Match: TOM1

Venue: Southgate

Day 1

Middlesex lost their third Totesport League match of the season when they failed to defend an imposing total of 333-4 at Southgate.

On a fine summerís day and on another excellent batting surface prepared by Steve Martin with a lightening fast outfield, Middlesex opted to bat first on winning the toss.

The Middlesex team included Peter Trego, making his debut in Middlesex colours, having scored a century for the Minor Counties against Middlesex seconds and taken four wickets in the same match.

Regular openers Paul Weekes and Ed Smith got Middlesex off to an excellent start with an opening partnership of 109 in 18.3 overs. Smith had just reached a fifty off 52 balls before he was run out for 53 (off 56 balls with 1 six and 7 fours).

Owais Shah joined Weekes and they took Middlesex to 178-1 after 30 overs before Weekes was run out for 81 (off 96 balls, 1 six and 9 fours). Shah reached a run-a-ball fifty before he was caught on the boundary for 55 (53 balls, 1 six & 5 fours).

Jamie Dalrymple was soon in his stride as Middlesex added a further 98 runs off the final eight overs. Scott Styris was caught for 42 (off 34 ball, 1 six & 2 fours) but Ed Joyce made 18 not out off 11 balls before Dalrymple hit England bowler Jonathan Lewis for 4,4,6,6 off the last four balls of the innings. Dalrymple finished on 60 not out, scored off only 24 balls (4 sixes and 7 fours).

The Gloucestershire openers, Spearman and Weston got the visitors off to a flying start with a partnership of 110 in 13.4 overs. Weston took three successive fours off Melvyn Betts third and fourth overs, before taking 18 runs off a Trego over. He reached 70 off 45 balls before Paul Weekes had him caught in his first over.

Matt Windows joined Spearman and this pair batted superbly adding 165 runs in 23 overs to set the visitors up for a seemingly unlikely win. Scott Styris had been the steadiest of the Middlesex bowlers and he had Spearman caught for 109 (scored off 104 balls, 1 six and 14 fours).

Melvyn Betts accounted for Windows, caught and bowled in the following over for 87 (off 75 balls, 4 sixes & 8 fours). Paul Weekes gave Middlesex some hope by taking three wickets in the space of two overs but with the penultimate over bowled by Betts going for twelve runs, only 3 runs were needed off the final over. Fisher struck the first ball of the final over, bowled by Alan Richardson to the boundary, as Gloucestershire reached the target with 5 balls to spare.

Paul Weekes took 4-58 off 8 overs, and Scott Styris 1-40 off nine. It was a generally poor performance by the bowlers, not helped by some sloppy Middlesex fielding.

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