May 21 2013 Latest news:
Matt Diner, at Lord’s
Thursday, June 21, 2012
T20 Southern Group: Essex 155-6 beat Middlesex 149-6 by six runs
Essex completed their second T20 victory in consecutive days after they outplayed Middlesex in all three departments at Lord's.
The hosts didn’t really turn up and sloppy fielding including two dropped catches helped the visitors to a decent total of 155-6 from their 20 overs.
In reply Middlesex couldn't get going, losing wickets at regular intervals, while only all rounders Gareth Berg (39) and Ollie Rayner’s valiant late burst of 39 from 21 balls could find the boundary regularly.
Rayner put on 49 runs with number nine Steven Crook but could their late surge could not force what would have been an unlikely victory.
For the Eagles it was a solid team effort as four batsmen went past 20, while five bowlers took wickets.
Essex won the toss and elected to bat and James Franklin started strongly smashing a four off the third ball before hitting Steven Crook’s first delivery in the second over back over his head for another boundary.
Mark Pettini just like the night before against Kent got off the mark edging past the wicketkeeper although his next couple of boundaries were beauties- pulling Roland-Jones before timing one perfectly through the covers.
After smashing another through the offside the former skipper was bowled by Rayner in the fifth over after again trying to cut one too close to his body.
Rayner’s accuracy brought the rate down while spin twin Tom Smith should have had Franklin caught when on 19, but Joe Denly dropped a sitter at deep mid-on.
The New Zealander was eventually undone by spin as John Simpson stumped the all rounder off Rayner after he made 23 from 31 balls, as the spinner finished with impressive figures of 2-16 from his four overs.
Ryan ten Doeschate was credited with the first six of the game as he smashed Smith back over his head for a maximum before repeating the trick shortly afterwards to bring up the Eagles' hundred in the 14th over.
The South African's fluent innings came to an end after Neil Dexter trapped the all round in front after he made 38 from 27 balls.
New man Graham Napier carried on where Ten Doeschate left off smashing 22 runs from his first six balls.
James Foster’s dismissal for 14 shocked the Eagles, with the 16th over off Roland-Jones going for just five.
Eagles' chances of a strong finish were hurt as Napier skied a Berg full toss to rayner after he made 28 from 12 and it wasn't until the last over when Essex found the ropes again.
Greg Smith smashed straight back past his fellow South African, although it was the Middlesex man who had the final say as he has the all rounder caught at deep mid-wicket by Chris Rogers.
Middlesex made the worst possible start to their innings as Denly’s appaling hack across the line of Phillips looped up with Franklin taking an excellent catch diving forward from mid off.
Adam Rossington- whose chances with the first XI have been few and far between this season- hit the first six of the innings, hitting Phillips to cow corner.
Rogers was next to depart as he skied one off Phillips to Smith, before Rossington took advantage of a rare poor Masters delivery to hook to the boundary.
Depite Rossington's efforts his partners at the other end were not hanging around and Dawid Malan was next to go cutting a short, wide Napier delivery to Ten Doeschate.
Rossington’s innings also came to an end as Masters had him plumb lbw for 22, playing across the line.
At 28-4 Middlesex were in all sorts of bother and struggled to find the boundary.
Limping to 36 they were five down as Dexter was brilliantly caught by Foster off Reece Topley. Backing to the leg side, the skipper swiped and top edged to Foster who read the situation perfectly.
Berg’s boundary off Smith in the ninth was the first for five overs and a rare success for the hosts.
With 110 needed from 60 balls, Berg again went on the offensive showing imagination by moving to the offside to hit Topley to vacant fine leg for four, before sweeping Phillips for another boundary in the 11th.
Simpson failed to stay with Berg and went for 11 attempting to hit Smith a cross the line, but only succeeding to loop the ball into the hands of Tom Westley for a simple catch to leave Middlesex 79-6.
Smith continued to defy the scorecard as he went to one knee to smash Phillips for a maximum on the leg side, before going next ball edging after to Foster after attempting a reverse sweep.
Crook hit consecutive sixes off Smith then Napier, before Rayner hit Franklin for two boundaries in two deliveries.
The same batsman hit Napier into the top tier in the penultimate over before a premeditated flick over short fine leg gave his side another four valuable runs.
Needing 19 from the final over Crook hit straight to Pettini off Smith from the first ball, before Rayner smashed a maximum to the off side boundary.
Rayner ran two and although hit out could only find the man on the boundary for a single with Roland-Jones run out on the final ball chasing a second.