Middlesex till we die
Middlesex in a Stew(art) Again
By London Leprechaun
September 10 2018


Most exciting moment

London Leprechaun gives us a report on a day when promotion pretty much became impossible and yet another up and down day left us more down then up, In every sense,  Don't make any plans for comning Thursday.
10.30 starts are not ideal when you have errands to do and cats who are enjoying the late outdoor summer sunshine. Getting them indoors is a bit like... Herding cats. 
With all errands accomplished I hear the first twenty minutes or so on radio. Hardly surprising that we were put in. September, 10.30 start, a bit of hazy cloud. But it was ok to start. No great alarms before I went underground and even a couple of boundaries from Gibbons. The most interesting bit actually was the news as to why Murts was not playing and Andersson recalled. (infected mouth abscess and general infection.) Dared I hope it would be just as serene at the other end of the journey. Would my phone be nice and quiet without any wicket notifications. 
Sadly not. Two beeps on the way out the station announced our openers were out. A third one just before the ground announced Max Holden's massive misjudgement. A run out. On the first morning. With our batting in the state it is this season. Or maybe that sums up the state we are in batting wise. 
Now I know batting first at Lord's can be a bit of a lottery sometimes and I can take two or three wickets before lunch on the first morning but not the six that actually happened. Though to be fair the two I saw were down to decent bowling and the pitch. 
Would it have been different if we got the chance to bowl first? Something we never will do while they have uncontested tosses and Championship matches at the beginning and end of the summer. 
After lunch for about half an hour we looked like we might get to a decent score. One cut by Ollie was so fiercely hit that it got stuck under the Mound Stand boundary boards and it took the combined effort of spectators, stewards, players and umpire to retrieve it. But any chance of dreaming of a batting point went with Ollie out to a sharp caught and bowled by Stephens; one of those people who always does well against us. A few lusty blows from Finny got us to 160. We needed to bowl well. 
Which we did at least to the point where we had Kent at 80/7. Everyone bowled well, Martin Andersson bowled pretty well, looking at a decent pace of a short run. First three wickets all LBW showed the merits of full and straight. But is 17 wickets on the first day before tea really a good cricket match? A Middlesex player who shall remain nameless was fielding near us and talking to some Kent supporters who were asking what was going on. Basically he said that wickets at Lord's were impossible to bat on, had been all season and it  wasn't making for good cricket. Judging by the scores all over the country it's not just Lord's that is a problem this time of year. 
Not that Stephens and then Stewart found batting a problem for a long while after tea when our other usual problem - getting a side out when they are seven wickets or so down - manifested itself. It was sunny, the ball a little old but we seemed to just sit back and wait for something to happen. The bowling got samey and instead of bowling full and straight we got loose on line and length and Stephens and Stewart took full advantage. Not just a pink ball player then. 
Eventually I went for a wicket walk and managed to get two quickly including Stephens. But from anticipating a decent lead we have now got behind. Again. And in the end the most important question of the day was whether we prefer Sussex or Kent to  stay down with us. 
But one positive today. Three of our youngsters:, Holden. Bamber and Andersson were playing today. We have some good young players. Let's hope our new coach whoever it is gives them a decent chance next year.
And one final thought.  The Seaxe Cliub today gave over £10,000 to help disadvantaged children in Middlesex take part in the All Stars programme. There is more to Middlesex cricket then how the men's first team perform.