About the Match
Middlesex is at the bottom of the table in the south group with only 4 points and will try to do their best to improve their rankings when they meet No.3 unit, Essex in the upcoming match on 10th July at Old Deer Park, Richmond. Middlesex has played 9 matches and won only two so far; they are in a do-or-die situation and need to win their remaining matches to qualify for the playoffs. Essex on the other hand, went out to play 11 times, collected six wins to attain 12 points; they will now try to add two more points with a win here and move ahead.
Middlesex collapsed to their seventh successive defeat against Surrey by 8 wickets in the last match, with the batsmen managing only 105 with only three of them getting double digit figures; David Malan scored 40 off 35 balls while Nick Gubbins contributed with 14 runs but the others fell like a pack of cards. On the bowling front, Harry Podmore and Gurjit Sandhu took a wicket each but with hardly much to defend for they were left gaping at imminent defeat.
Middlesex also came up with a dismal performance against Sussex losing the match by seven wickets; they scored just 133 for the loss of 8 wickets with Eoin Morgan struggling to get 27 while James Franklin scored 26 runs and Paul Stirling scored 23. Mitchell McClenaghan made an excellent debut for the hosts by taking 3-24 from his four overs while others failed to take a single wicket.
Middlesex will have to come up with new strategies and should play like a unit in all departments of the game; they do have talent and fire power to bounce back with players like John Simpson, David Malan, Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan while Nick Compton, Andy Balbirnie and Ryan Higgins are required to bat positively while James Franklin is performing well as an all-rounder.
Jesse Ryder’s first century in the competition paved the way for a 78-run victory for Essex over Hampshire in the last match; he blasted an unbeaten 107 from just 55 deliveries and Mark Pettini shared a brilliant 74 in 45 balls as Essex finished at 212 for five which helped them register their sixth success in the competition. On the bowling front, Ravi Bopara who was appearing in his 100th domestic T20 match finished with 3-23 while Topley claimed 3-25; David Masters and Shaun Tait ended with 2 wickets each to bowl out Hampshire for 134 in 18.3 overs.
In the previous match against Glamorgan, they won the contest by 17 runs by posting a competitive total of 187; Ravi Bopara blasted his third fifty of the event along with grasping three important wickets while Nick Brown contributed 38 runs. Shaun Tait was another bowler who took 3 wickets and restricted Glamorgan to 171.
Overall, the team has been a consistent side in all departments of the game and are capable of performing under pressure to win matches.
Middlesex’s confidence in the T20 format is low and being at the rock bottom of the group for the second summer in a row, they don’t look capable enough to post a challenging total here. On the other hand, Essex is high on confidence after 2 successive wins and is a formidable unit to reckon with; they look well placed to repeat their winning strategy and gain two more points here.