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They think its all over. It is now

Future is brighter.

By Rogers and Out
September 12 2018

Rogers and out reports on the day promotion became impossible.  Tough day to write about but there is a positive end to the report.  Roll on 2019.

Mick Connors

13:46 (3 hours ago)
to me
It took Kent 75 minutes to get the 52 runs required to take an important victory in their search for promotion at Lord's today, consigning us to another season in division two next year.

Ethan Bamber and James Fuller did their best, taking three wickets between them today, but we were around fifty runs light in our second innings and Sam Billings' professional knock saw our visitors home.

I had initially planned to watch the Second XI play at Billericay today, but there seemed to be little chance of much play. Essex were thirteen runs behind us with three wickets in hand, and indeed, we quickly won by ten wickets.

So I opted for Lord's in the remote hope that we might bring off another surprise victory.

I arrived just after Ethan dismissed Bell-Drummond leg before from the fifth ball of the day, with the score on 106/5.

Ethan bowled tidily but sadly the same could not be said for Steven Finn. Keeping the run rate down is certainly not his forte, and although he did produce a couple of venomous short deliveries, he was guilty of over pitching and Kent, captain Billings in particular, made him pay by reaching the boundary too often in the short run chase.
Ethan doesa his best 
After three unsuccessful overs - his figures were 7-0-39-1 - JK Fuller replaced him from the Pavilion end and immediately caused Kuhn to play and miss his first two deliveries. Admittedly, he did plunder six runs from two balls later in the same over, but JK trapped him leg before in his next over, leaving Kent 136/6 with twenty runs needed.

Wily campaigner Darren Stevens was next man in and looked to steer Kent to their target with Billings. JK gave us a glimmer of hope with another LBW decision, this time against Stevens - 144/7 with twelve to get.

Harry Podmore was next at the crease and if we were to have any chance at all, we needed to get him on strike as Billings was looking very comfortable.

Our last throw of the dice, saw Martin Andersson replace Bamber at the Nursery end. Unfortunately, his first ball saw Ethan fumble a return from the boundary, meaning Billings took two runs and kept the strike.

He never relinquished it, and an edged boundary off JK, that Andersson very nearly stopped, trickled agonisingly against the rope, leaving Kent winners by three wickets.

With Sussex struggling at Durham, Kent look favourites with Warwickshire to reach the top tier and deservedly so, from what I have seen of them this season.

From our point of view, the 'unthinkable' has happened and we shall be playing second division cricket in 2019. Too many players have under-performed this term in all formats, and it has been left to the likes of Tim Murtagh and Jimmy Harris to keep us afloat in the ultimately unsuccessful quest for promotion, plus an honourable mention for Paul Stirling's white ball batting with four centuries.

However, the biggest plus for me has been the introduction of several young players this season who have acquitted themselves with credit. Max Holden, Robbie White, Ethan Bamber and Martin Andersson are great propects and I look forward to watching them in Middlesex colours for many years to come.

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They think its all over. It is now
Middlesex till we die (IP Logged)
12/09/2018 16:21
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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2018:09:13:10:39:02 by BarmierKev.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
12/09/2018 19:29
Thanks Mick.
It's been frustrating for sure,and,as you say,it's been good to see the youngsters come through,some hopefully seen for a few years.
Kent seem to be the surprise package in div 2,before season started it was us,Warwicks and Sussex to be fighting for the two promotion spots.(so the bookies said!)
Low scoring game again,lack of batting points...again.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
Lifer (IP Logged)
12/09/2018 20:38
It is very sad but those of us who though we would go up had not budgeted for Toby to be missing all season and niggling injuries to Finn and Helm. Neither did I think we would fail to sign a high profile overseas batsman who might have replaced some of the low scorers.

Oh well next year

Re: They think its all over. It is now
Merry like Bill (IP Logged)
13/09/2018 07:36
I went to Day 2 of the Kent game and it was an absorbing watch. Here are some random musings;

The wicket was clearly doing a lot and I lost count of the number of times we played and missed.....must've been 40+

I did miss the first 45 mins but I'm sure in the time I was there, there was only one cover driven 4 (by Eskinazi to the Mound Stand) and most of the runs came behind the wicket....on 6 occasions fine of long leg before lunch.

Kent generally bowled with discipline and it was noticeable how they left their quickest bowler, Thomas until last in the pecking order. Podmore and Stevens were the ideal bowlers for the conditions and Henry had class. We shall never know but if Murtagh had been playing, I can't see how we wouldn't have won.

On the batting front, Robson battled gamely and occasionally gave glimpses of his class but there's something odd about his balance. A couple of times he appeared to topple forward as if he was feeling for the ball and his dismissal was to a strange looking walking grope.

The move of Holden from 6 to 3 looked flawed. I know Eskinazi suffered cramp at Gloucs but this was never going to be a long game. Holden had been doing well at 6.

It's easy for me to say but Morgan surely would've been better off trying to play a one day type innings. Even an unorthodox 25 could have been crucial. It just didn't look like a wicket for @#$%& about on, as there was always a low one, a bouncy one or the pesky umpires to contend with (Mr Taylor does like an LBW doesn't he?)

James Fuller batted really well but I should imagine he's kicking himself for not trying to open up when we went 8 down. It was too much to ask Bamber and Finn (for a 2nd time) to survive on that track.

We surely picked the wrong team for the conditions. There was a bit of early talk about how good the track was going to be and it appears we were suckered in. Ok...Kent have the luxury of a top order bat who does their spinning for them and we don't. But surely Stirling at 7 with licence to whack should have been the way to go? As it was, Rayner battled gamely with the bat (like he nearly always does) and his on driven 4 was only surpassed by Finn's cracking pull shot for my shot of the day. But is it enough to have your main spinner largely selected for his brilliant slip fielding and very game attitude?

Bowling wise; Finn had little rhythm and bowled badly. Bamber got the ball up there and at least brought the batsmen forward. I've been impressed with him.

The field placing was odd. Bell-Drummond was especially adept at dropping the ball backward of point for singles (and once for a 2 to the short side!!). Given that so few runs had been scored in front of the wicket, we were crying out to either lose deep square leg or extra cover to plug the gap and make him do something different. He got settled and the game was pretty much gone by close of play.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
dingy bags (IP Logged)
13/09/2018 10:19
I agree with much of the above post and would also like to congratulate Mick on an excellent report with some sound analysis.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
13/09/2018 11:36
The one thing I would disagree with is how Morgan played.

Second time around, he had scored one run, so was just starting in a match where time was not an issue. He had to - at least - make the Kent bowlers get him out.

So he smacked one straight to midwicket, when all he had to do was look to put the easy ball into a gap, until a rank bad one came along, after he had made a few.

With all his experience, he really should have both known and done better.

He's a disgrace.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
13/09/2018 11:41
We need to bring back public flogging.

Re: They think its all over. It is now
Lifer (IP Logged)
13/09/2018 14:11
He has not played red ball cricket for years. If we had signed decent overseas batsman he would not have played this summer

On the other hand his crafty captaincy v Warks - (while Malan was off the field) he got Simmo to stand up to frustrate Trott and lead to his dismissal. That probably won us the game.

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