Sunday, 7th May 2006

First win of the season

FIXTURE

Vs: Hampshire

Match: CGT S

Venue: Uxbridge

One day

Middlesex gained their first win of the season with a tense thirteen run win over Hampshire in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy at Uxbridge. Having lost the first two matches in the competition the win keeps Middlesex’s slim hopes of reaching the final alive.

Middlesex welcomed Owais Shah and Ed Joyce back from England ‘A’ duty, but Andrew Strauss was not available due to England commitments although Kevin Pietersen was allowed to play for Hampshire.

Shane Warne won the toss and invited Middlesex to bat first. Ed Smith got Middlesex off to a flying start with three boundaries in the first three overs but he lost Paul Weekes caught in the slips for two, and Chad Keegan caught behind for a first ball duck.

Smith continued in regal style however reaching his fifty off only 36 balls (8 fours) and with Shah saw Middlesex reach one hundred in the sixteenth over. At this point, Shah was trapped LBW by Marcarenhas for 13 and shortly afterwards Smith’s fine innings of 88 ended when he was also LBW, this time to Shaun Udal (off 64 balls, 14 fours).

The scoring rate dropped against the spin of Udal and Warne, the latter accounting for Jamie Dalrymple another LBW victim having made only four. The two left handers, Joyce and Hutton saw off Udal, who finished with 1-34 off his ten overs, and Warne who came off after six overs. Joyce pulled Taylor for six, but was caught two balls later for 43.

The two hundred came up in the 39th over, but Warne returned to the attack and in his first over bowled Hutton for 38. Louw was caught in the deep for a single off Taylor, and Silverwood was another Warne victim, caught for four. Ben Scott chipped in with a useful 33 not out (off 35 balls, 4 fours) and Melvyn Betts hit Bruce for a straight six before he became Warne’s fourth victim as Middlesex were all out for 254 with two balls of the innings remaining. Warne had figures of 4-48 off 9.4 overs.

Middlesex got an early wicket when Pothas was caught at the wicket off Johann Louw. Shane Warne promoted himself as a ‘pinch hitter’ and struck Chad Keegan for three boundaries in nine balls before Keegan had him caught at slip.

Pietersen looked in ominous form but he lost Crawley, caught behind off Betts for 33. He struck sixes off Betts and Silverwood to bring up the Hampshire hundred in the 21st over before Thornely was caught in the deep off Keegan. Carberry gave Pietersen good support, taking the Hampshire total to 141-5 with twenty overs remaining. Betts came back at the Pavilion End and with his second delivery had the danger man Pietersen brilliantly stumped down the leg side off a wide.

Carberry and Mascarenhas batted sensibly pushing ones and twos so that 62 runs were needed off the final ten overs. The balance of the match fell Middlesex’s way when Mascarenhas was caught off Jamie Dalrymple for 20, and in the following over a stunning full length diving catch by Ed Smith off Chris Silverwood removed Carberry for 52. Udal struck Silverwood for two sixes in an over before Bruce was run out by Hutton.

Taylor gave Udal good support and when the final over began 14 runs were needed for a Hampshire victory. With his first delivery however, Keegan bowled Udal for 32 (off 25 balls) to leave Middlesex winners by 13 runs.

It was a good all round team effort from the Middlesex bowlers backed up by a superb display behind the wicket by Ben Scott who had four victims,

Bowling: Louw 10-0-38-1, Keegan 9.1-1-52-3, Betts 10-0-57-2, Silverwood 10-1-42-2 and Dalrymple 10-1-49-1.

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