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Irish duo missing for Panthers

Essex CCC

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Middlesex will be without Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh when they tackle Essex in the Friends Life t20 South Group at the PROBIZ County Ground this evening.

Stirling, in particular, has been in fine form and struck 71 as the Panthers ended a two-match losing run by overcoming Hampshire last time out.

Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling, pictured, and Tim Murtagh will miss Middlesex's Friends Life t20 clash with Essex as they are on international duty with Ireland

However, he and Murtagh are away with Ireland as they prepare for Saturday’s one-day international against Australia in Belfast. Steven Finn and Eoin Morgan are also unavailable as they partake in the final NatWest Series encounter against West Indies.

Monday’s victory was Middlesex’s first of the season in the sprint format and Dawid Malan is hoping they can build upon that by triumphing over the Eagles.

“Essex are on the back of a good win last night - they pulled one out of the hat and will be full of confidence,” he told ecb.co.uk. “But we are backing ourselves.

“Essex are a good one-day side, but we have got a good team who can compete and I think we can pull out a win.”

Essex edged to a tense success over Kent last night and are aiming to continue their push up the table by emerging victorious once more, although they are without England duo Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara.

Depleted Somerset have called upon Steve Snell for their Midlands/Wales/West Group clash with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

They are shorn of Craig Kieswetter, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Kevin O’Brien and George Dockrell, who are all on international duty with their various countries.

That means former Gloucestershire man Snell, who has stepped in on occasion for Clydesdale Bank 40 and Champions League action, will get another opportunity to impress.

Those absences leave Warwickshire, currently mid-table after overcoming Northamptonshire on Tuesday, scenting a win against the leaders despite lacking the services Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Chris Woakes.

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