MATCH REPORT | Middlesex v Essex Eagles


Middlesex | Nick Gubbins (18), Brendon McCullum (42)*, John Simpson (20) +, Eoin Morgan (16), James Franklin (74), George Scott (17), Ryan Higgins (11), Tim Southee (38), Nathan Sowter (72), Tom Helm (7), Steven Finn (9).

Essex Eagles | Varun Chopra (6), Adam Wheater (31), Dan Lawrence (28), Ravi Bopara (25), Ryan ten Doeschate (27)*, Ashar Zaidi (99), James Foster (7) +, Paul Walter (22), Simon Harmer (11), Mohammad Amir (5), Matt Dixon (30).

Umpires | Tim Robinson & Russell Warren

Toss | Essex Eagles won the toss and elected to bowl

Result | Middlesex won by 72 runs

Match Report:

In front of a 27,000 crowd at Lord’s on Thursday night, Essex Eagles suffered a 72 run defeat by Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

Middlesex, who were put into bat, scored 203 for 6 before dismissing the Eagles for 131 in 16.2 overs despite 50 from James Foster with paceman Tom Helm returning 5 for 11 from 3.2 overs.

The visitors were always behind the asking rate and although Dan Lawrence hit 29 out of 47 before he became the third wicket to fall, Essex hopes floundered further when Ravi Bopara was run out for 11 after backing up.

That left the Eagles 57 for 4 and by the halfway stage, the innings was in tatters at 72 for 6. Four of the top five batsmen in the order all presented Eoin Morgan with catches, two at backward point and two at cover and it was only thanks to a 63 runs partnership between Foster and Paul Walter that the total was carried into three figures.

Both batsmen fell to Helm in the 15th over with the score on 125 and without addition, the bowler added Mohammad Amir to his collection before the over was completed.

Brendon McCullum thrashed his way to 63 from 28 balls that included 5 sixes and 6 fours before he was caught by Simon Harmer at long on when facing the bowling of Bopara. His departure left Middlesex 91 for 2 in the 9th over to end a 73 runs stand in 6 overs with John Simpson.

The latter went on to make 51 whilst Morgan contributed 39 but both were to become victims of Dan Lawrence, easily the pick of the Eagles bowlers.

He returned his best T20 figures of 3 for 21 in 4 overs but elsewhere, his colleagues came in for plenty of punishment including Matt Dixon who conceded 26, including three sixes, from the final over of the hosts innings.

Interval Report:

Essex Eagles have been set a challenging target if they are to win the NatWest T20 Blast contest at Lord’s and played in front of a capacity crowd.

Middlesex closed their innings on 203 for 6 after a whirlwind 63 from Brendon McCullum and 51 from John Simpson who figured in a 73 runs partnership spanning just 6 overs for the second wicket .

Pick of the Essex attack was spinner Dan Lawrence who returned his best figures in this form of the game claiming 3 for 21 from his 4 overs.

Essex won the toss and elected to field against a side who started the game at the foot of the South Group.

Mohammad Amir proved typically frugal with his opening over of the match costing just one run off the bat. In contrast, Paul Walter felt the force of Brendon McCullum’s blade when his first over cost 18 runs including the first 6 of the match by the New Zealander.

It was in the 3rd over that the Eagles claimed their first wicket and it was Matt Dixon that found the breakthrough with his first delivery when Nick Gubbins holed out to Varun Chopra at deep square leg for a single.

Amir’s next over cost 17 runs – including two 6’s for McCullum as he and partner Simpson went on the rampage. The Pakistan fast bowler was not the only one to suffer heavy treatment at the hands of the Middlesex pair. Walter went of 13 in his second over, whilst Matt Dixon conceded 17 in his second over.

McCullum had struck 5 sixes and 6 fours having faced only 28 balls when he drove to long-on facing Ravi Bopara and was caught by Simon Harmer.

With the score 91 for 2, Simpson was joined by Eion Morgan and the pair continued the run-flow adding 69 in 7 overs before Lawrence had Simpson stumped by James Foster for 51.

The home side were now 160-3 and without addition, Lawrence removed George Scott for a duck in an over that cost just 1 run.

Bopara , Lawrence and Amir then conceded 17 runs from the next three overs whist Lawrence bowled Morgan for 39 and facing the final over, the home side had advanced to 177 for 5.

However, Dixon proved costly with 26 runs accrued including three sixes although he did account for Ryan Higgins taking the home side past 200.