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Panthers lifted by Morgan return

Middlesex Panthers will be turning to returning skipper Eoin Morgan for inspiration as they aim to claim their first NatWest T20 Blast victory of the season at Kent Spitfires tomorrow night.

With the Panthers pointless at the bottom of the South Group after losing on all five of their outings to date, they will be lifted by the expected inclusion of England batsman Morgan following the completion of the Royal London One-Day Series against Sri Lanka.

Together with in-form opening batsman Dawid Malan, the 27-year-old thrived during Middlesex’s opening game of the tournament at Lord’s.

The pair, with an unbeaten 86 and 77 respectively, added 118 in 13 overs for the second wicket to lift their side to 180 for five after winning the toss.

But it wasn’t enough to beat Essex Eagles and they have failed to build any momentum since.

Steven Finn has shrugged off a niggling injury that saw him miss the double header at the home of cricket and he will bolster the bowling options at Morgan’s disposal.

The Panthers will be without Sam Robson and Gareth Berg for the clash at the Spitfire Ground, though.

Berg’s shoulder injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season, while Robson has been named in England’s squad for the first Investec Test against Sri Lanka next week.

Kent, who play Hampshire tonight, have England limited-overs spinner James Tredwell available for selection.

Brendan Nash, rested at the Ageas Bowl, could come back into the reckoning for the home fixture.

However, Mark Davies, Calum Haggett and Ivan Thomas remain on the injured list. 

Middlesex Panthers have lost their last seven Twenty20 matches. They have the longest losing streak in English domestic Twenty20 cricket history, losing nine consecutive games in 2005/2006.

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