Five-star Finn sinks Derbyshire
Middlesex cantered to an emphatic seven-wicket Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A win over Derbyshire at Lord’s, with pace bowler Steven Finn bagging career-best one-day figures of 5-33 and winning an international recall.
Overlooked of late for the likes of Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan, England’s selectors were on the phone even before Middlesex had romped to victory with 11 overs to spare to ask Finn to head north to Trent Bridge as bowling cover for tomorrow’s second npower Test against India.
Finn had enjoyed a maiden five-wicket return in limited-overs cricket, which owed much to his team-mate’s excellent catching and fielding that helped restrict the visitors to a disappointing 40-over total of 173 for nine.
His 5-33 helped to put the Panthers level on points with leaders Sussex, who have played a game less and have a superior net run-rate.
Derbyshire, having chosen to bat first on a firm, dry pitch, made a patchy start and lost Chesney Hughes in the fourth over when his ambitious back-foot force against Finn flew to Neil Dexter at slip.
With the first ball of his next over Finn nipped a delivery back off the seam to Martin Guptill, whose late decision to shoulder arms left him lbw.
Steven Crook then sent back Wayne Madsen with a quick yorker, which clipped leg stump to make it 67 for three in the 15th over.
Wes Durston, who escaped a clear cut run-out chance when on two, eventually went for 45 from 49 balls when, in attempting to slog across the line against left-arm spinner Tom Smith, he skied a comfortable catch to Jamie Dalrymple at cover.
Derbyshire’s demise gathered momentum when Garry Park pushed to backward point and set off for a single against Dexter, only to see Greg Smith run out at the striker’s end after Tom Smith’s athletic left-handed pick up and direct hit.
Left-hander Ross Whiteley then drove high over long-off only to see Chris Rogers, running to his left in front of the MCC members in the pavilion, take a stunning two-handed catch to send him packing.
Finn returned for a second spell to witness another stunning catch, this time by Tim Murtagh running back at deep square-leg, which accounted for Park for 25.
Finn then bowled Steffan Jones and Tim Groenewald to take his match tally to five and leave Middlesex with a comfortable asking rate of 4.35 an over for victory.
The hosts lost Scott Newman early in the pursuit to a rash drive on the up straight to short cover, but raced to 50 a full six overs quicker than Derbyshire had.
Ireland right-hander Paul Stirling clipped a six off Tony Palladino into the Mound Stand on his way to a cameo 43 off 33 balls, which ended when he was leg before wicket after attempting an audacious slog sweep against Jones.
With only 94 needed, left-hander Dawid Malan went for 41 - emphatically stumped after being lured down the pitch by off-spinner Greg Smith.
However, the hosts romped home thereafter through former Derbyshire skipper Rogers and Dexter, who finished unbeaten with 38 and 42 respectively.