Middlesex contribute to own downfall in Lancashire defeat


Lancashire beat Middlesex by 20 runs

Lancashire 304-4 off 50 overs (Jennings 96, Vilas 70*, Croft 68; Harris 2-51)
Middlesex 284 all out (Harris 117, Simpson 74; Mahmood 4-38)

Lancashire won a hard earned knockout match at Lords after Middlesex contributed to their own defeat with careless running and batting after a very disciplined bowling display. The home side lost more wickets in ten overs than they took in 50.

However a heroic sixth wicket partnership of 197 between John Simpson and James Harris nearly secured an unlikely comeback, before poor running again destroyed the Middlesex tail.

Max Holden started the rot by being needlessly run out when the innings was in its infancy and there was no need for a risky single. He was so far out of his ground when Jimmy Anderson threw the stumps down, he could have emailed his bat to the crease quicker. Nick Gubbins went LBW next ball and by the time it reached 24-5, there was no way back for Middlesex despite James Harris’ brave 117 and John Simpsons’ 74 in a 6th wicket partnership of 197 against the change bowlers.

Saqib Mahmood had three wickets for 15 off six overs by the time he was rested and the match was already beyond Middlesex. He finished with an outstanding 4-38.

Earlier Keaton Jennings was Lancashire’s best batsman with 96 on a day when, unlike Middlesex, they made themselves hard to dismiss.

The Red Rose county move on to the semi final.


Middlesex won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that seemed vindicated when George Scott took a stunning catch running from deep square leg to deep mid wicket to send the unfortunate Liam Livingstone back to the pavilion for a meagre four.

Keaton Jennings was joined by Steven Croft and soon took control, but it was Croft’s massive six off Toby Roland-Jones which gave the score respectability after the ten overs of fielding restrictions. Jennings powered on to a wonderful 96 before being bowled by George Scott. He and Croft added 159 for the second wicket with Croft finishing with 68 before being bowled by Nathan Sowter.

Dane Vilas was outstanding reaching 50 off just 56 balls and steered the visitors to 304-4 which was a little disappointing given the advantageous positions they had got themselves into at 165-1 and again after 40 overs when they were 223-3. The Lancashire captain finished with 70 not out from just 67 deliveries.

Middlesex’s innings started abysmally.

Max Holden gave away his wicket in the fourth over being easily run out by James Anderson, several feet short of completing a needless single. It was the beginning of the end. Anderson turned from heroic fielder to heroic bowler when Nick Gubbins was out LBW first ball, in a very easy decision for the umpire.

At 12-2, Middlesex were on the back foot and that foot was kicked away from under them when Saqib Mahmood had Robson caught behind for ten, at 18-3 before Steve Eskinazi lofted his sixth ball into the infield for an easy catch by Croft to give Mahmood his second wicket. Wickets continued to tumble, with Taylor going cheaply also to Mahmood.

James Harris hit the innings’ first boundaries and became the first man to reach double figures. He hit several more and at one point had outscored all his colleagues combined. That continued as he built an amazing 197 stand with Simpson, a stumping finally bringing an end to the charge. Simpson was run out shortly after, and the brave comeback was over at 221-7.

The tail ploughed on but more run outs combined with the better shots going straight to a well placed field, left them short of their target.


About Author

Comments are closed.