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Hair today, gone tomorrow

Posted in Ones to Watch

Brisk winds at Canterbury and Edgbaston greeted us on both mornings we were there and lingered as a bitter reminder that we needed to drastically change something in order to put right the embarrassment of last weekend.

In our first of back-to-back games we won the toss against Kent and batted first. After another week of hard fought championship cricket batting first was well received.

After a drubbing last week from Kent it was imperative we got a good score on the board. At 30 for two it wasn’t looking overly pretty but 277 runs later, after a magnificent partnership between Nick Compton (131) and Eoin Morgan (161), we were set for a very defendable total. Something that gave everyone confidence in what they had to do.

Kent's reply started slowly and some great bowling from Chris Silverwood meant we had the start we wanted. With the strong wind blowing across the ground it was key to focus on maintaining straight lines from the start of your run up right through your follow through. Otherwise the wind would imbalance you and it would be difficult to bowl a nagging line consistently.

I felt as though I managed to bowl nagging lines and drew an edge from Joe Denly in my second over. However, I am still looking for improvements every game I play in order to make me a better cricketer.

Playing in front of the Sky cameras always has its rewards and doing well often gets you noticed in the cricketing world. I think some of the boys thought they were in a fashion show judging by the way everyone was well groomed. None more so than the coach, with a new haircut for the occasion.

We savoured the win for five minutes, sang our song, which still isn’t as slick as we’d like. Then we hit the motorway to Birmingham for our game the next day.

Halfway up the motorway we stopped at the services and I fell out of the car in the middle of the car park, stretching my back that was becoming desperately tight. What a glamorous life us cricketers lead.

The following morning in Birmingham we woke to another windy, but sunny day. There was an air of confidence after the win yesterday, Eoin and Nick's big hundreds hopefully the starting blocks for what could be a long winning sequence for us in this competition.

Geraint Jones & Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan goes on the attack during his magnificent ton as Middlesex beat Kent in the Friends Provident Trophy

However, having won the toss and batted again, we were undone by some very good new ball bowling - something that we identified as key to winning one day games. The starts you get are crucial. However, memories of the Twenty20 quarter-final at the Oval last year left us believing we could escape this situation again.

Dawid Malan and Morgan consolidated for us, trying to get us towards 180, which we felt would be a competitive score. However, a series of dismissals left us 163 all out, me being the victim of a first ball duck, edged to first slip. Walking back I felt about two feet tall, not my usual 6ft 8ins.

In the field we spoke about bowling wicket to wicket and giving them nothing to hit, but everyone was guilty gifting runs at some stage. This is something we are working hard on improving as we try to move forward as a one day unit.

I am starting to feel in much better rhythm recently and I can see it within my end results. Warwickshire won at a canter but the lessons learned will be valuable for us as we come in to the final three games needing to win all of them.

Starting with Scotland on Thursday where the plane journey is just another long trip for us to learn more about our cricket and each other.

As we play more, this young side will start to consistently play as we did against Kent.

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