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Re: RLC Hants at Merchant Taylor’s 30 May
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 30/05/2018 19:35
After taking their record in this competition to three wins and one defeat with last Friday’s victory v Sussex at Hove, Middlesex’s prospects of making a rare venture to the knockout stages of a List A competition don’t seem as great after two subsequent defeats, while our chances of finishing top of our group and thus going straight to a home semi-final look bleak. Hampshire look to have qualified for the knockout stages, while Glamorgan look to be out, but it is all to play for for the seven other teams in the south group. Maybe we could end up qualifying with one more win, or maybe wins in our two remaining group matches won’t be enough.

Our total of 199-8 in 45 overs today seemed very much on the low side, so it is not a surprise we didn’t defend it. If the outfield was slow after the recent rain, then perhaps it would have been better to have chased like Hampshire were able to do. Perhaps the reason why we chose to bat after winning the toss was because all of our three wins have come after batting first, plus Sunday’s defeat v Somerset at Taunton came after we chose to chase.

Our squad doesn’t include a great deal of batsmen suited to limited-overs cricket, so it is a big blow that Dawid Malan has not played in this campaign, Eoin Morgan could not play today and may not play in our final two group matches, and Paul Stirling hasn’t been totally fit in this campaign (Lower Mound says that Stirlo didn’t field today).

When my parents and I travelled to Gatwick Airport on Thursday, Lower Mound saw Ravi Patel’s uncle at Preston Road station. His uncle didn’t seem confident about Patel’s future at the club, although his prospects must have improved thanks to his 14 wickets in this competition. We will have to see whether his performances will have helped his chances of breaking into our County Championship side, of playing in our Twenty20 campaign (for which Ashton Agar will surely be one of the first names on our teamsheet availability permitting, and for which Nathan Sowter is also likely to play), of remaining at the club next season, or of attracting another county. Those hopeful that this match would see success for someone with a connection to the local area would have liked Patel to have taken further wickets in this match considering Patel attended Merchant Taylors’ School. Instead, that quest will have been satisfied by Steven Finn dismissing Tom Alsop within a few miles of the home of Watford FC, who they both support.

Finn has spoken to our YouTube page about this match:

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