Meet the Opposition: Middlesex


Wednesday’s opponents have already had the upper hand over the Eagles this season in the opening match of the competition at Lord’s.

This was largely due to a match-winning performance from overseas star, AB de Villiers. However, they bring a wealth of experience and skill to Chelmsford with the likes of Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan.

Titles: 1 (2008)

Finals Days: 1

Coach: Stuart Law – The former Australia star arrived over the winter to take charge in all formats, resulting in the departure of Daniel Vettori after two largely unsuccessful campaigns as Middlesex T20 coach.

Captain: Dawid Malan – Barring an Ashes call-up, Malan should captain the side for the duration of the tournament and, if so, will provide a consistency of leadership in this format not seen at Lord’s in recent years.

Overseas Signings: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan), AB De Villiers (South Africa – misses this game due to be only available for first seven matches).

The Narrative: To reference D: Ream’s 1997 hit, ‘Things can only get better,’ as far as Middlesex and T20 are concerned. They finished bottom of the South Group last season with just two wins, losing their final eight games. However, the Seaxes’ white-ball game showed notable signs of improvement in the Royal London One-Day Cup where they reached the play-offs and they’ll be aiming for a similar leap forward in T20.

Star Man: Paul Stirling – While he will miss some of Middlesex’s early games due to Test commitments with Ireland, hard-hitting Stirling provides an explosive presence at the top of the batting order, having racked up over 4,500 runs in T20 cricket.

Mr Consistency: Nathan Sowter – Leg-spinner Sowter has developed an encouraging knack of taking wickets in T20 during the last two years, especially in his first over.

Under the Radar: George Scott – All-rounder Scott has featured regularly for the first XI this season and, as well as hitting the ball a long way, he is an outstanding fielder either inside the circle or guarding the boundary.

Killer Stat: Tom Helm’s figures of 5-11 against Essex in 2017 are the best by a Middlesex bowler in T20.