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Over and out

Posted in Domestic Cricket

With results going our way in the week, we travelled to Hampshire’s Rose Bowl to encounter a well drilled Hampshire team, keen to emulate their recent experiences of Lord’s finals.

Another glorious day and a good looking wicket meant the batsmen would enjoy value for their shots.

We lost the toss and bowled first, aun Udal taking the first over to try and unsettle the opening batsmen. In theory.

I took the second over and my first fivels were perfect, on a good length, going across the left hander, all of which he had to play at. The last ball was put in a similar area and the batsman took an almighty hack at it. Top edging over the keeper' head for four. A sign of what was to come from Hampshire on what would turn out to be a frustrating day for Middlesex.

It seemed as though everything we tried didn’t work. A mixture of that and poor skill execution meant that our 50 overs were spent chasing a lot of leather.

The spinners did their best to tie the rate down, applying pressure in tandem in the middle period, Dawid Malan and Udal doing some great work for the team.

But during the final Power-play, the Hampshire batting took our seam bowling to the sword. Innovation from Twenty20 is seeping into the longer formats of cricket and never was it more apparent that this Power-play. Scoops over the keepers head, moving around in the crease and general brashness meant Hmapshire set a formidable score.

To cap going round the park, I came off with blood pouring out of my nose, splattering the Rose Bowl steps as I struggled to contain it. When I got to the dressing room I bent over the sink and let it all come out. I stood there for what seemed an eternity with the physio holding an ice pack against the back of my neck. Not a nice way to finish the session.

In reply we started well but were bogged down in the middle, their spinners doing the same job as ours and eventually we were bowled out a long way short of their total.

I came in at 11 and struck a boundary over the bowler’s head but was eventually caught on the midwicket boundary.

A resounding victory for Hampshire in a game we only contested in periods. However, it was the first time the club has reached the knockout stages of the Friends Provident Trophy for a long time and something we could be proud of, even if we had long journey back to London with our tails between our legs.

With this experience behind us, who knows what this group of young, talented players can achieve next year with everyone gaining experience every week we play.

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