Middlesex win the battle of the London Derby in opening Trophy match


Middlesex completed a comprehensive 190 run victory over rivals Surrey in the Bob Willis Trophy opening round.

Nick Gubbins outstanding knock of 192 and Tim Murtagh’s five wicket haul were instrumental in Middlesex’s victory.

On the opening morning of the first group games in the Bob Willis Trophy, Middlesex won the toss and elected to Bat.

Surrey gave debuts to both Dan Moriarty and James Taylor. Middlesex handed a debut to 22-year-old Thilan Walallawita.

Surrey’s captain for this match Rikki Ckarke had Sam Robson caught for seven. Clarke- who was awarded a testimonial by Surrey last week- bowled beautifully during the opening session.

Max Holden- who was dropped twice- went on to make 48 before edging Amar Virdi behind. The Middlesex skipper went for 18 off Moriarty to leave Middlesex 164 for 3 at tea. By the close of play, Middlesex had progressed to reach 264 for 4 with Nick Gubbins 150 not out.

The morning session of the second day saw Gubbins fall eight short of a double century. He received valuable support from John Simpson who made a half century as Middlesex declared on 347 for 6. The pick of the hosts attack was Clarke who finished with figures of 3 for 48.

Surrey’s reply started badly with Tim Murtagh picking up Ryan Patel for four. Debutant Walallawita bagged the wicket of Mark Stoneman for 45 as Surrey moved on to 80 for 2.

James Harris trapped Will Jacks leg before as the home side closed on 189 for 3 with Borthwick undefeated on 73.

The third day began with Borthwick adding a further 19 to his total before falling to Martin Andersson. Veteran Murtagh then picked up two wickets before lunch to leave Surrey’s reply at 269 for 7. The hosts lost their last six wickets for 28 runs to be bowled out for 282. Not for the first time it Was Murtagh the star of the show with figures of 5 for 47.

With a first innings advantage of 65 runs, Middlesex added 184 by the close of play. Holden continued his fine match performance by hitting 43 with Gubbins one short of a half-century at the close. Young left-armer Moriarty picking up all three wickets to fall on a pitch taking spin.

With an intriguing prospect of a good finish on the final day Middlesex added quick runs. Gubbins went for 60 with Andersson 51, both falling to Moriarty as Middlesex declared on 248 for 6. Moriarty claiming figures of 5 for 64 as Surrey were set 314 to win in a minimum of 71 overs.

The home side slumped to 20 for 3 with Stoneman, Borthwick and Will Jacks back in the pavilion. A partnership of 64 rescued them before Ryan Patel fell to James Harris for 44. Ten runs later Jamie Smith went for 40 off Miguel Cummins to leave Surrey struggling on 106 for 5 at tea.

Going into the final session Middlesex looked favourites. The visitors need to take five wickets whilst Surrey still required a further 208 runs to win.

Middlesex turned to part time bowler Sam Robson and immediately it paid dividends.  Robson’s leg breaks picked up two wickets in successive deliveries by removing Clark and Moriarty. Matt Dunn avoided the hat trick ball, but Middlesex were on course for victory.

Four runs later it was all over with Middlesex getting the bragging rights over the four days, with victory by 190 runs.

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