About the Match
Even after four matches, Middlesex continues to be winless and at the bottom of the points table in the South Division of the NatWest T20 series; the now face Surrey, which has 2 points from its win against Somerset by 14 runs, on 30th May at the Oval ground. Surrey which occupies the 5th position after having played only two matches so far needs to climb up the ladder with a good overall performance whereas Middlesex is in a critical point now and must conquer its weaknesses to make a fresh start here.
Having set a target of 174 runs against Somerset, the bowlers Ansari, Dernbach and others took regular wickets to keep the pressure on the opponent’s batting line-up; with a tight bowling attack, the team gave a tough fight and won the match by a close 14 runs. Earlier, it was Jason Roy’s 64 off 47 balls that comprised of 5 fours and 3 sixes, which steered the team towards a strong total, with good contributions from other batsmen along the way. In the match against Sussex too, Jason had built strong partnerships, first with Smith and Davies and then a 75-run stand with Wilson to keep the scoreboard ticking; while Jason had posted 57 runs off 43 balls, Wilson had showed off his skills too with a brilliant half-century off 39 deliveries. However, the bowlers’ efforts of taking regular wickets had not stopped Sussex from winning the game by 2 wickets. Surrey has a good batting line-up and established bowlers, who have been performing well; they just need to be positive minded, go ahead with strong determination and ensure not to take their opponents lightly.
The team has had a hectic schedule and even after playing four matches couldn’t get their strategy right; losing all four contests, the players’ morale is down but they should look ahead with hope. Playing back-to-back matches on the first day of their season, the team faced tough challenges first against Essex and then against Sussex. While David Malan laid a strong foundation against Essex by scoring an unbeaten 86 off 57 balls and Morgan too smashed away 77 runs off 43 balls, the bowlers were disappointing as they couldn’t defend the huge total of 180 runs. Against Sussex, in a low scoring game, the batsmen tried hard to chase the 129 run target but the pressure got to them too early and they could only muster 115 runs at the end of 20 overs. This time though the bowlers had done a commendable job of restricting Sussex to a lowly total; Roland-Jones, who had given away too many runs in the first match, claimed 3 wickets giving away only 25 runs whereas Harris and Christian took 2 wickets each. Patel, who had taken the lone two wickets against Essex, was once again amongst the wicket-takers along with Rayner and Stirling taking 1 wicket each. Their morale might be down but this is a good opportunity to make amends and bounce back.
Staying at the bottom of the table is not an option for Middlesex and they will definitely be charged up give a strong performance here. While Surrey is at a better position compared to its opponents, they will find it difficult to restrict them from scoring the big runs; though they are the underdogs, Middlesex looks ahead for their first win with strong will-power and determination.
Middlesex, 2.50 @ Bet365