Robson takes wicket in first white ball over as he, Gubbins, and Eskinazi steer Middlesex home by five wickets

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Glamorgan 285 all out
Middlesex 289-5

Middlesex win by five wickets

On a day no batsman looked unduly troubled and no more than a handful of deliveries misbehaved, Middlesex beat Glamorgan comfortably  by five wickets.

Set 286 to win, the Londoners cruised home led by Nick Gubbins’ 92, Sam Robson’s 79 and another unbeaten innings for Steve Eskinazi who left with the field with 71 runs from just 58 balls under his belt. Charlie Hemphrey top scored for Glamorgan with 87, his highest score in white ball cricket. There was a first too for Robson who took a wicket in his first over in this level of the game.

The Day’s Play

Middlesex won the toss and chose to bowl.

Toby Roland-Jones struck first when he had David Lloyd caught at point by Nathan Sowter for nine. Jeremy Jeremy Lawlor carried the Glamorgan attack thereafter until Chris Cooke took command in the tenth over, the last with early fielding restrictions, bringing up the Glamorgan 50. He then took command outscoring Lawlor as the two eased to a fifty partnership.

Lawlor then fell to one of the rare good deliveries with keeper John Simpson catching well from Sowter on 38. Glamorgan powered on past the 100 and looked to be setting out for 310 plus when disaster struck when two wickets fell quickly.

In his first over in white ball cricket, Robson bowled Marnus Labuschagne and Roland-Jones had Cooke caught close to the wicket on 46, just as he was poised to be highly dangerous. At 116-4 with 24 overs left, the home side could smell blood.

This left Hemphrey and Billy Root the task of relaunching the Glamorgan innings both from start. They did so admirably taking the Welsh county to 165-4 at 30 overs. At that point, a score of 320 looked possible.

The key moment came at 196-4 when Sowter saw Root coming down the wicket, dropped the ball a fraction and caught the return shot. Next ball Dan Douthwaite came haring down the wicket and Simpson stumped him first ball. Glamorgan were now 196-6 after throwing away the benefits of ‘a key partneriaeth’ as they say in West Wales.

Hemphrey became the first Glamorgan player to reach his fifty off just 57 balls. He kept on progressing. His first six came in the 42nd over off Sowter, giving the Doncaster right-hander his highest one day score. He stayed around further guiding his side past 250, eventually going for 87 leaving with his side 265-9. 20 more were added to the tail to reach 285.

Glamorgan dismissed Max Holden for 0, but Robson and Nick Gubbins steadied the ship superbly and took the home side beyond 50, Robson reaching his 50 off just 51 balls. The two continued on, batting cautiously rather than aggressively. Gubbins reached his 50 off 46 balls. Middlesex were oodling and cutting their way to a very advantageous position.

Robson made his first big error on 79 taking a wild swing at Billy Root half way down the wicket. He missed and Cooke took an easy stumping. Taylor followed next over and top edged it to Cooke behind the stumps. For the third time in the game, a side had lost two quick wickets and on both previous occasions, the next two batsmen had managed to cobble together enough runs to steady the ship.

Steve Eskinazi produced 20 runs off 15 balls and the partnership moved the score smoothly past 200, Gubbins bringing up the 50 partnership with a lofted four off Root over mid on. They took Middlesex to a winning position before  Gubbins fell on 92 caught by Marchant De Lange off Root. It was a very good innings but his footwork was lazy on the shot that dismissed him, and he clipped the ball to mid on. He scored 12 fours and his 92 came of 91 balls.

Simpson gave away his wicket by lofting Labuschagne to Root to bring it to 236-5 but Eskinazi ploughed on taking no risks, becoming the third Middlesex player to reach 50 with an exquisite sweep of Wagg. George Scott and Eskinazi steered Middlesex to victory with some excellent fours.

After the match Steve Eskinazi talked about qualifying for England and adapting his batting to one day cricket.

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