Middlesex’s RLC Quarter Final hopes hit by loss to Hants.30th May 2018
199-8 (45) 200-5 (38.4)
Hampshire won by 5 wickets
Royal London One-Day Cup
Wednesday 30th May 2018
Peter Moore at Merchant Taylors School
Hampshire maintained their position at the top of the South Group after completing a five-wicket victory against Middlesex with 26 balls remaining at Merchant Taylors School on Wednesday.
Batting first, Middlesex made a below par 199, with Reece Topley the pick of the visitor’s attack, finishing with 4 for 40. Despite losing Rilee Rossouw early on and losing three wickets for 17 runs, it was left to Bradley Taylor and Lewis MacManus to steer the visitors to victory.
Top of the group Hampshire arrived at Merchant Taylors School to face third placed Middlesex. In a very well contested and closely knitted South Group, with just three points separating eight teams, both sides were looking for victory with only three games remaining.
After heavy rain delayed the start with a 12.30 start and the game reduced to 45 overs per side, Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat. In the fourth over the hosts lost their first wicket when Nick Gubbins(9) was taken at gully off Reece Topley. The former Essex bowler Topley then had Paul Stirling(12) caught after he had deposited him out of the ground, to leave Middlesex 31 for 2 in the eighth over. Stevie Eskinazi and Max Holden added 62 for the third wicket before Hampshire’s skipper James Vince trapped Eskinazi lbw for 42. Topley’s fine day continued when he had Max Holden(38)- playing his first one day cup game for Middlesex- caught behind to give him his third wicket of the game. Simpson(18) picked out Topley at cover to leave Middlesex 154 for 5 after 36 overs and struggling to get to 200.
Reece Topley completed his nine overs by taking the wicket of Helm(20) to claim figures of 4-40 as Middlesex ended up with 199 for 8 in their allocated 45 overs.
Despite loosing Rilee Rossouw(11) to a loose shot off Steven Finn, Hampshire raced to 50 off nine overs before Finn struck again, after a change of ends immediately produced the wicket of Tom Alsop(18) to leave the visitors 60-2 in the 11th over. The visitors looked to be galloping to their victory target before Middlesex claimed two dismissals for just a single run. James Vince(56) went for a very risky single and was run out by a direct hit from James Franklin at mid on. Five deliveries and one run later Nathan Sowter had Joe Weatherley(38) caught at mid off to leave Hampshire 124 for 4, requiring a further 76 for victory.
Middlesex kept up the pressure as Sowter had Brendan Taylor(11) caught behind with 60 needed off 15 overs. Makeshift bowler Holden was bought into the attack to partner Sowter, but Hampshire managed to get themselves back on track after the home side conceded 24 runs in two overs. But thanks to an unbroken partnership of 60 for the sixth wicket between Lewis Mcmanus(33) and Jimmy Adams(30) steadied the nerves, with Adams finishing the game with a six off Tom Helm as Hampshire remained on top of the table, and in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup.