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Robbers and Villains

Hero today

By Dingy Bags
September 18 2018

Dingy Bags gives us a report of finally a good opening day for Middlesex.  Too little too late perhaps and there is the inevitable collapse included but plenty of positives to.

So to Lord’s for the last game of 2018. It’s normally a bit of a sad moment but this year, along
with other members and supporters, all I feel is a bit of a relief. It’s still of interest, of course,
and first-class cricket is never irrelevant but not much hanging on the game.
First of all is the news of the selected XI. Who will keep wicket – Ollie Rayner? Who will open
the bowling – Sam Robson? Will Morgan get a chance to improve his batting average? In fact,
Robbie White was selected as keeper and Morgan was dropped. {NB He did not disappear to
Trent Bridge because he was visible at lunchtime when Eski was capped.]
With lights on, it was yet another uncontested toss. Reports suggest we are rapidly becoming a
cashless society (disappearance of cask machines, contactless card payments, etc) so getting
rid of the need for a coin at cricket shows the game is keeping up with trends in this respect at
Within about 30 minutes the skies were clearing and it was pretty obvious that the ball was
NOT moving all over the place as in the last few games here. Robbo was not playing and
missing three balls an over; little went past the bat all day, in fact. Derby were pretty soon
regretting the insertion, despite, like us, selecting no fewer than five seamers. Ferguson, who
opened from the Pavilion End is one of the quickest bowlers I have seen all year. His first ball
was a snorter that surprised Gubbins and me. But soon Sam was clipping fours off his legs for
fun and it was suddenly ‘proper’ first-class cricket again. It never felt, for the first two sessions,
that a collapse was on its way. There was one, of course, but it came later.
At 64, Viljoen, who had replaced Fiery Fergie from the Pavilion End, hit Gubbins in front and he
was lbw. Gubbo had been outscored by Sam but had not looked in particular trouble, so this
was a bit of a shock. Soon after, Sam had a let-off, being dropped at second slip off Hughes
when he was 43 and the score at 65. Eski, freed of the gauntlets, appeared at 3 and, after a
scratchy start, moved into his stride and runs came steadily all around the wicket. The fifth
seamer, the left-handed Reece, was on before lunch but this was taken at 102 from 30 overs.
Critchley opened the bowling with his allsorts after lunch but the score was 139 before he got
Eski lbw playing across one. This was about the 25 th lbw appeal from the enthusiastic wrist-
spinner (I exaggerate bit it is September) whose agonies after an appeal is refused are rather
entertaining. Mala played some nice shots and a few he will want to forget, including the tennis
shot to a ball way above his head to which he holed out at long leg. Come to think of it, he will
want to forget most of 2018, since April at least.
At Hove in May, and within a short time, I saw two Middlesex batsmen go to (first-class)
hundreds. Little did I know that I would have to the second half of September to see the third.
But two balls before tea, it happened: Sam completed an excellent and well-deserved ton (180
balls). He has had to open the batting on some very iffy tracks this year and it cannot done his
confidence/rhythm any good at all, so this was great to see.

Madson was the seventh bowler used, coming up to the second new ball. Shortly after this was
taken, Middlesex reverted to type. The persevering Palladine first had Robbo, perhaps in two
ominds whether to dab or thump, caught at first slip. Next ball, to the horror of those who
really want him to succeed, Robbie White edged to second slip. Harry avoided the hat trick but
did not last much longer, lbw to Palladino and Andersson soon went the same way. That made
4 wickets to the same bowler for a total (from both ends) of 10 runs. Still, better to collapse
against that than the first new ball (as usual).
That we did not fold entirely was down to our youngest batsman and brightest prospect. Apart
from a chance to slip when he was on 76 and the score on 308 (the returning Lockie Fergie the
suffering bowler) he batted beautifully, drives through the covers an especial treat. For a while,
he was given sensible support from JK, until another piece of tactic-less batting. Fiery went
around the wicket and bounced him – the result a majestic hook into the Grandstand. A second
man went back on the legside. The next ball was short, so JK rocked back and helped it over the
slips. This is a great idea, unless there is a third man on. The ball lobbed straight to him.
There was thus a danger that Max would run out of partners before we got a fourth batting
point (oh these dizzy heights!) and before he competed his innings. Fortunately Bambi batted
as if he has a) batting talent and b) a cricket brain and these two went undefeated to the close,
taking singles where offered. So, there is a certain degree of popise to things as play starts in
the morning.
A different and better day than most this season – although frontline spinners might as well
give the game up - but, even with no interruptions, this might be a drawn game.

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Robbers and Villains
Discussion started by Middlesex till we die , 18/09/2018 23:21
Middlesex till we die
18/09/2018 23:21
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:09:23:17:54:08 by BarmierKev.

Ebor Gooner
19/09/2018 00:14
Crikey, where was this batting performance earlier in the season?

On the strength of this, I have purchased train tickets to Durham for the last game of the season. I'm hoping for more of the same.

19/09/2018 07:34
Cheers Andy.
It was a really good day apart from the mini collapse!
So,I waited all season to see a ton in the county championship and it finally arrived courtesy of Sam Robson playing some of his shots he loves to play.
The ton,on my last day of season at Lord's,I was so willing Max Holden onto his first one,although really pleased he was 96 no,being greedy for myself,bit gutted he couldn't get those last 4 runs,how I was hoping!
Let's hope,early today Max completes his aim,and our bowlers see the 1st inns of Derbyshire off cheaply.

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