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The mid-table battle in South Group of Vitality T20 Blast is getting intense with many teams trying to get away from middle of the points table. Surrey have 7 points from 7 games and are just hanging in the middle part of the table. They'll lock horns with Middlesex Panthers on 3rd August 2018 at London. Middlesex are third from the bottom of the table and lost to Glamorgan in their last match. A win here won't change their standings in the points table, but would certainly keep them in contention for the playoffs.
Surrey suffered a blow in their last match as they were defeated by Glamorgan despite being in a good position for most part of the match. Nic Maddinson played a brilliant 70-run knock to take Surrey's total to 194 on a surface that was being used for the second time in the day.
Surrey have a heavy reliance on Aaron Finch and Jason Roy and their departure in the seventh over of the match left Surrey in trouble. Maddinson then proved his worth by slamming a quick-fire fifty and stitching useful partnerships with Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope. Foakes and Pope played useful hands of 27 and 26 respectively.
Their new ball bowlers started off well as Dernbach dismissed Donald and Tom Curran got rid of Usman Khawaja with Glamorgan on just 15. However, the middle order bowlers failed to put any pressure whatsoever with Pillans, Batty, and Borthwick going for 98 runs in their eight overs combined. Surrey eventually lost the match with six balls to spare.
Aaron Finch, JJ Roy, Nic Maddinson, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Rikki Clarke, Will Jacks, Tom Curran, MW Pillans, Gareth Batty, Jade Dernbach.
Middlesex are to play two games in a span of 24 hours with the first of these games against Sussex. Should they manage to win both their games, against Sussex and Surrey, they'll rise to fourth spot, currently held by the Sharks.
Bowling first against Sussex, Ravi Patel and Tom Barber did well to restrict them to just 168 runs. Steven Finn was expensive, as he conceded 41 runs in his four overs and went wicketless. Agar, too, was expensive and gave away same number of runs, but picked up three wickets in the process. Barber picked up four wickets for 28 whereas Ravi Patel returned with the figures of 3-0-27-3.
The Panthers were in the business till the very last over with 24 runs needed of the final two. The equation was down to 16 required of final over with Morgan and Simpson at the crease. Jofra Archer dismissed Eoin Morgan on the third delivery of final over leaving Panthers needing 14 to win. While it was a good show with the ball by their bowlers, their batsmen failed to play responsibly and Eoin Morgan stood out as lone fighter till the end. Middlesex eventually lost the match by 12 runs.
PR Stirling, Nick Gubbins, Stephen Eskinazi, Eoin Morgan, James Franklin, Ashton Agar, Robbie White, James Fuller, James Harris, Tom Barber, Ravi Patel.
Middlex succumbed to another loss after being in a favorable position half-way through. Their vulnerabilities with the bat were highlighted once against as Eoin Morgan was their only batsman who looked comfortable against spin. Surrey, on the contrary, have an excellent batting lineup with Roy, Finch, and Maddinson in superb form. They've done well in the tournament as compared to Middlesex and are firm favorites to win the upcoming encounter.
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