Middlesex continue 100% record in Vitality Blast, after victory over Surrey. 24th July 2019


                                      Surrey       vs     Middlesex

                                  Vitality Blast T20  Tuesday 23rd July 2019

                                       Peter Moore at the Kia Oval

                                  Middlesex               Surrey

                                       209-3                       172-9

                                          Middlesex won by 37 runs

Middlesex made it two wins out of two in this seasons Vitality Blast South Group after defeating Surrey by 37 runs.

Captain Dawid Malan took the plaudits with his third T20 century in Middlesex’s total of 209 for 3. Despite Ollie Pope’s knock of 47, Surrey were always struggling after losing both openers with just 21 on the board.

Middlesex won the toss in front of a sold-out crowd at the Kia Oval on a glorious evening in South London.

Openers Stevie Eskinazi and Dawid Malan put on 55 runs in the powerplay with Eskinazi playing some delightful shots around the ground. Despite receiving less of the early strike, Malan soon caught up his partner as the partnership blossomed, with the experienced Malan bringing up his half-century off 24 balls. Captain Malan tucked into the bowling of Gareth Batty by taking 22 of the off spinners second over as the partnership grew to 131 before Tom Curran struck for the hosts by bowling Eskinazi(42) around his legs.  Following an impressive unbeaten 88 for Middlesex against Essex last week on his debut for the club, Middlesex fans were keen for another big knock from AB de Villiers, but it was his fellow countryman Imran Tahir who bagged the prize wicket of the South African by trapping him lbw for three, followed by the customary wheeling away in celebration.

It was down to Malan to push Middlesex towards a competitive total and with four overs to go the visiting Captain brought up his century off 49 balls including nine fours and six six’s. Malan’s outstanding innings of 117- a personal best in domestic T20- was eventually ended after getting caught behind off Curran with just three deliveries remaining. Middlesex ended up by posting a competitive total of 209 for 3, with George Scott 35 not out.

Surrey’s pursuit of 210 got of to a terrible start when Afghanistan youngster Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck with just his fifth delivery when Will Jacks(1) was caught at mid-wicket. The hosts soon found themselves two down when Aaron Finch(9) was very well caught behind by John Simpson off the bowling of Tom Helm to leave Surrey in deep trouble at 21 for 2. It was down to Ollie Pope and Mark Stoneman to rescue the hosts with a welcome return to Pope- who was returning to the side since dislocating his shoulder in April. The pair added 58 before Stoneman(29) fell to Nathan Sowter. Pope fell three short of a half century after holing out in the deep off Roland-Jones, who then bagged the wicket of Rikki Clarke(9) four balls later to leave Surrey requiring a further 107 runs off 48 deliveries. Tom Helm was re-introduced back into the attack and struck a big blow by bowling Jordan Clark(21). With 55 needed off 20 deliveries Sowter bowled Liam Plunkett(5) to put Middlesex within touching distance of victory. Surrey’s hopes of an unlikely victory rested on the shoulders of Tom Curran, but that soon disappeared when his cameo innings of 31 off 17 balls was ended when Steve Finn pulled of a great catch at long on to almost see Middlesex home. Roland-Jones had Jade Dernbach caught in the deep to give him figures of 4 for 35, to seal an impressive Middlesex performance as the visitors picked up a rare win at the Kia Oval in the T20 by defeating their near rivals by 37 runs to make it two wins out of two in the competition and leave Surrey still searching for their first victory.

Malan, speaking after the game was happy to get some early victories in the competition. “It’s nice to get some wins under our belts, especially early in the campaign. It’s about getting results early and to keep up the momentum”. The Captain was also very modest about his fine innings. “It was one of those days, if it’s your day so be it”. To score a twenty twenty hundred is obviously tough, but I enjoyed this one”.





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