Middlesex till we die
A Trent Bridge too far as Middlesex tied up in kNotts
By Rogers and Out
September 6 2019

Not enough runs

Rogers and Out reports on the match that saw the sun set over Middlesex's white ball season with a resounding loss at Trent Bridge.  There is an MTWD health warning attached to this report along with thanks to our reporter for braving the match and reporting on it. 

A Middlesex born batsman crunched 83 runs from 47 balls to ensure his side a comfortable victory at Trent Bridge on Thursday night. Sadly that man was Alex Hales whose fine batsmanship along with that of Chris Nash ensured a very easy victory for Nottinghamshire by ten wickets.
Once again, our bowling and fielding were not up to scratch and despite a half century from Eoin Morgan, our total of 160/8 did not trouble our hosts in the slightest.
We made two changes to the line up from the previous Friday at Taunton. The returning Mujeeb came in for the departing Hafeez and Eskinazi replaced Scott. Notts won the toss and opted to insert us. Although Stirlo hit a couple of early boundaries, disaster struck in the fourth over when Matt Carter dismissed our departing Ulsterman then re-arranged Mala's stumps.
19/2 was definitely not the start we were hoping for, but Eski and AB looked to repair the early damage. Our hopes nosedived further in the seventh over when AB found the capable hands of Ben Duckett on the square leg boundary off the bowling of Wasim. Eski then played an injudicious shot off the very next delivery and was smartly caught by 'keeper Moores. Simmo denied Wasim a hat trick but we were reeling on 43/4, requiring another innings of brilliance from Captain Morgan to give us any chance at all. Both he and Simmo kept the scoreboard ticking along, taking a liking to the bowling of both Gurney and Patel who were the least economical of the Nottinghamshire bowlers. However these two bowlers had the last laugh, with Patel dismissing Simpson who holed out to long on then Morgan's fine innings came to an end when he sliced Gurney to short third man.
Moggie's dismissal with two overs remaining left us with too much to do in order to set a challenging total. Toby did well with several lusty blows in his 26 runs from 19 balls but 160/8 seemed around 20-30 runs light.
We needed to make a good start with the ball and in the field when Hales and Nash came in to open for the East Midlanders. Sadly we failed on both fronts. The usually economical Mujeeb was smashed around the park by both batsmen with the Afghani going for 31 runs in his first two overs.
Our inconsistent pace duo of Helm and Finn once again failed to deliver but it was our fielding that really assisted Notts in their victory stroll. Three relatively simple catches went down as well as shoddy fielding on the boundary. It was an embarrassing to watch although the friendly Notts fans were enjoying it immensely. Morgan was one of the few of our fielders who acquitted himself well and he was shaking his head in dismay at the ineptitude of his colleagues.
We were put out of our misery with 22 balls remaining and Nottinghamshire joined Essex at Finals Day at Edgbaston on 21 September.
Whilst our white ball cricket has improved this season with qualification for the latter stages of both competitions achieved, we are lacking in too many areas.
The great win at Taunton, as good as it was, papers over many cracks. I could write a book about our 'issues', but here are a few.
Tim Murtagh is our best bowler by a country mile. Could he not have played at Trent Bridge? I'm sure he could have managed four overs and his fielding and batting could not have been worse than several others. Instead, we get the usual suspects going for ten plus runs every over.
Dawid Malan is a very fine batsman, but similar to Joe Root, his captaincy is not of the same standard. The debacle at Hove opting for a toss and consequently being bowled out for 75 is one recent example. As with England, however, there is no obvious alternative candidate for captaincy. James Harris is a great team man, but his bowling has gone into decline to such a degree that he is no longer sure of a place in the team.
Perhaps we will have to look outside to get a player of experience who can nurture our young talent. I would love to have AB in for all formats but finance would almost certainly prevent that from happening.
Finally, an old chestnut but one cannot help repeating it. How is it that several players have left our club to thrive elsewhere?  Rossington, Podmore and Higgins all deemed surplus to requirements, but even more worrying is the decline of too many players this season alone.
Nick Gubbins who could barely score any runs at Denby this week against a weak Derbyshire Second XI. Max Holden, despite his 160 odd against the same opposition. James Harris's bowling. Steven Finn, Tom Helm and even Paul Stirling has not been up to his usual T20 standard.
I am at a loss to explain this. Stuart Law has now had virtually a whole season to assess the squad and I sincerely hope he is given the remit to rectify the situation.
A top class overseas player to come in as captain to oversee and encourage our young players. Tom Lace to return from Derby and I would also like the young spinners Walallawita and Holman given contracts, as we are sadly lacking in that area.
Three games left in the County Championship. Whilst promotion is almost certainly beyond us, let's hope we can show our mettle and finish on a high in this roller coaster of a season.


Has the sun set on our season?