Browse News

News by Competition News by Topics News by County Teams News by International Teams

Join TwelfthMan now!

Morgan finds form in Panthers win

Acting Middlesex Panthers captain Eoin Morgan warmed up for England's limited-overs series against Australia with a season's best 90 to inspire his side's four-wicket Yorkshire Bank 40 win over Leicestershire Foxes at Lord's.

Although neither side could progress from Group C, Morgan caught the eye of England's national selector Geoff Miller - watching from the media centre - by hitting eight fours and four sixes in a match-defining innings as the Panthers reached their target with 10 balls to spare.

In pursuit of Leicestershire's impressive 40-over total of 274 for eight, Middlesex struggled early on facing an asking rate of 6.88 an over and some tight Foxes' bowling.

Leading scorer Dawid Malan had still to get under way when he followed a delivery from left-arm seamer Rob Taylor to edge to the wicketkeeper.

Then, with the total on 22, Paul Stirling aimed an expansive cover drive at Nathan Buck only to drag the ball onto middle stump.

The experienced third-wicket pairing of Joe Denly and Morgan regrouped with a partnership worth 72 inside 11 overs that came to a surprise end when Denly chipped a return catch to diving slow left-armer James Sykes on 36.

Morgan reached a 43-ball fifty - his first in all forms of cricket in a hugely disappointing domestic season - by chipping six into the Tavern Stand against Josh Cobb.

The Irishman was just 10 short of a century when a mistimed slog sweep against Shiv Thakor flew to Greg Smith at long-on.

Morgan helped add 81 in 10.3 overs for the fourth wicket with Adam Voges during a breezy 63-ball stay, but Voges blotted his copybook by holing out to the same fielder on 37 to make it 197 for five.

Needing 77 from their final 10 overs, Middlesex added 60 in 44 balls through debutant Ollie Wilkin and John Simpson before the former cut to backward point with only 18 required.

Simpson saw the hosts home with a brisk unbeaten 58 from 39 balls, with a six and eight fours, the last of which won the game.

Batting first after losing the toss on a bright afternoon, Leicestershire lost Cobb for six when he miscued to mid-off against England paceman Steven Finn.

Foxes opener Smith moved smoothly to a 61-ball half-century with four fours and two sixes.

But only 11 balls later, Smith perished when attempting to clip spinner Ravi Patel over long-on, spooning instead to long-off to end a second-wicket stand worth 61 in 13.1 overs with Ned Eckersley.

Eckersley was joined by left-hander Matthew Boyce, who took advantage of a short boundary on the Tavern side by twice depositing short deliveries from Patel directly into the Mound Stand.

Eckersley also reached 50 from 53 balls, and with eight fours, but the former MCC Groundstaff player then top-edged a pull high to Toby Roland-Jones at mid-on to depart for 73.

Boyce, having added 95 in 12.2 overs in tandem with Eckersley, became the third visiting player to reach a half-century, his coming from 51 balls.

Rookie Middlesex seamer Wilkin claimed his maiden YB40 wicket by removing Boyce for 53; then, four balls later, the 21-year-old made it 2-44 when Michael Thornely flailed outside off to be caught behind for 19.

The visitors lost three for 11 in six balls in the quest for late runs, which worsened when Ben Raine was caught at deep extra-cover for seven.

Yet Middlesex were docked six penalty runs for a slow over-rate going into the final set of six by James Harris, which also led to the departure of Thakor to a comfortable catch at long-leg by Finn.

The last five legal deliveries of the innings cost 24 runs as Tom Wells threw the bat to plunder two sixes and three fours in a cameo unbeaten 31.

Buy county tickets

Buy tickets to see county cricket, or become a member of your local county - full details and links

County Fixtures 2014

Download 2014 fixtures wallchart and get fixtures for your county and all county competitions

Watch county highlights

Watch highlights of every match from the summer of LV= County Championship action here on ecb.co.uk