Middlesex till we die
Middlesex Miles short of a point
By Lower Mound
May 13 2018

Rain, Rain go away

Lower Mound reports on a shortened day at Lords where the main interest was in the elusive fifth batting point. At least that was better then scramblling for one point.

Resuming on 356-6, surely Middlesex’s main aim of the morning was to achieve maximum batting points, which required 44 more runs from 14 overs. John Simpson began on 15 not out and James Harris on 2 not out. 

We batted carefully, with the only big overs being when Harris hit two boundaries in the 102nd over and Simmo hit two boundaries three overs later to leave us requiring 14 in three overs. There didn’t seem much danger of the Middle losing any wickets, but the introduction of Craig Miles in the 108th over caused Harris to mistime a shot which went high in the air, and was caught by Daniel Worrall at mid-off for 24, which left 13 balls to achieve 4 runs. Only 1 run came off the next over, which left 3 required in the 110th over. The first ball saw Simmo edge Miles to wicket-keeper Gareth Roderick for 32, leaving Ollie Rayner and Tom Helm with the task of getting us over the line. As the over wore on, it looked there was more chance of Gloucestershire achieving a third bowling point (which looked highly unlikely just a couple of overs previously) than there was of a fifth batting point. It came down to 3 being required off the final ball, but Helm could only achieve a leg bye, meaning that the score after 110 overs was 398-8. I said to Jonathan that the initial priority for the day should have been to get the fifth batting point, but Jonathan disagreed, saying that it was justifiable for us to bat carefully and get ourselves into a position to push far past 400 in order to increase Glos’ follow-on target and to keep their players on the field for as long as possible. Do you agree with Jonathan that runs on the board are more important than obtaining the fifth batting point, remembering what happened last season, when points needlessly lost contributed to our relegation? Answers on a postcard please. 

For the 117th over, spinner Graeme van Buuren was introduced, and the first ball of his spell was promptly hit by Rayner for a six into the Grand stand, and for a four off the next ball. If only the runs could have come as easily prior to the 110th over. 

There seemed to be a threat of rain in the air, but that didn’t stop the scoreboard ticking over. The 122nd over saw the 50 partnership between Rayner and Helm brought up off 73 balls, and Helm hit the final two balls of the over to the boundary to take us to 455-8. However, that turned out to be the last play of the day, as the rain became heavier, and an early lunch was called at 12:50pm. The rain continued, and it was shown on the scoreboard that we had declared, leaving Glos requiring 306 to avoid the follow-on. At 2:45pm, it was announced that there would be an early tea at 3:10pm. At this point, I decided to agree with Beefy Roberts, who I saw earlier leaving the ground, so I left with Jonathan. We made the right decision, as play was later abandoned for the day at around 4:30pm. 

I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, when hopefully it will be the Harris and Steven Finn Show