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Middlesex still Fuller Hope

Single spelt wrong

By Fozzie
September 12 2018


Ten-thirty starts mean I have a dilemma as to whether to get my usual first off-peak train and miss the opening overs or pay extra for an earlier train.  Looking at the previous day’s scores, it would appear that batsmen all around the country felt similarly discombobulated by the early start. I wonder whether Alistair Cook’s finale at the Oval might have been rather different if he had had to open at 10.30?

Anyway, I opted for economy and arrived at Lord’s just as JK was wrapping up the Kent innings for his fourth wicket and a deficit of 31 runs which could be crucial in the context of a low-scoring match.  Gubbo and Sam opened our second innings under floodlights and an overcast sky, and although Nick never really looked comfortable Sam was playing with assurance. The deficit was cleared, then the 50 partnership came up, but just as I was wondering whether this might belatedly be a big innings for Sam he fell to Stevens, who shortly afterwards also accounted for Max.

This brought in Mala, who raced away to 30 off just 20 balls before lunch, flicking boundaries of his legs with ease and overtaking Nick in the process.  Suddenly batting didn’t seem such a difficult proposition after all, but after lunch the wheels came off. Harry Podmore had had difficulties with his line before lunch, but now he trapped Gubbo, and Mala fell to Henry next ball.  Morgan’s solitary run was an edge onto his pads which probably saved him from a first-ball duck, but in Podmore’s next over he wafted a full toss to midwicket. Andersson didn’t last long, and that was 114-6.

I was sitting in the Mound Stand where behind me four young women were holding an animated conversation in Polish, not something I’d come across before at a cricket ground.  Meanwhile Eski, JK and Ollie grafted away to get us to a final total of 186. It looked hard work, and six LBW dismissals suggested that the ball was moving around. Credit to JK, who hung in nearly two hours for his 28 not out - a fine all-round contribution in all three innings of the match.

The Kent innings opened under the first blue sky of the day, which probably didn’t please our bowlers.  But Mala quickly took a fine diving catch off Ethan, which to everyone’s surprise brought in Matt Henry, promoted from number 10 as a pinch hitter.  The ploy didn’t work, as he promptly hit a spiralling drive to Morgan. Denly made little impression, and a strategic trip to the gents accounted for the fluent Dickson.  But Kuhn and Bell-Drummond steadied the ship and put on a quick 50 either side of a delay for bad light before the umpires finally called a halt with 3 overs remaining, which incidentally also interrupted an in-depth discussion on the format of the Scottish Irn Bru Cup.  

So only 15 wickets on day 2, and the match will go into a third day – or even a fourth if the weather forecast for Wednesday is accurate.  It was a tense, hard-fought and attritional day that may yet lead to an exciting climax; but although nobody would want a return to the high-scoring bore draws of recent years, I’m not sure that a match in which all four innings fall below 200 (and in which there have so far been just 8 balls bowled by a spinner) is the ideal balance between bat and ball.

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Middlesex still Fuller Hope
Middlesex till we die (IP Logged)
12/09/2018 08:32
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:09:13:11:40:35 by BarmierKev.

Re: Middlesex still Fuller Hope
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
12/09/2018 09:02
Normally I like to think I'm a 'glass half Fuller' type of person, but one of Kent's wickets to fall so far is a tailender, and if all else fails, our nemesis Stewart will get them over the line.

I can't see anything other than a Kent win by three or four wickets at about 11.30.

Possibility our new coach will be announced either later today, or Thursday or Friday (Kevin Hand thinks decision has been made and an announcement is imminent).

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