Malan decisions going to cost Middlesex a Lord’s QF in Natwest T 20 blast
Dawid Malan the Middlesex captain, who is also the captain of the England Lions for sometime now lost the toss and put into bat by his opposite number Ravi Bopara the captain of Essex team in their last home match in the NatWest T20 Blast match at Home of Cricket The Lords. The match was curtailed to a 16 over game due to rain before the start of the match. Malan decisions going to cost Middlesex a Lord’s QF in Natwest T 20 blast!
Middlesex could not field a full team as they are without the services of the opener and Irish batsman Paul Striling, the English ODI captain E Morgan and the quick bowler James Fuller. Middlesex is already without the services of New Zealand star batsman B McCullum who is plying his trade in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League and veteran Aussie batsman A Voges who could just play 2 T20 matches for the Lords based team. With their half side the home team were happy to bat first considering the pitch is used already and become quite slow. The expected chasing gets harder, which it actually was except to Ashar Zaidi the Essex allrounder who came in and played a gem of innings.
Put into bat D Malan decided to play through the innings cautiously without taking on the bowlers for those big sixes on leg side which also is the longest part of the ground for the pitch chosen to play this match. Although skipper Malan went on to score 68* (51 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixers) runs of the team’s total 126/5 which is more than half the score he had also played more than half the balls for the innings. Other batsman just came into the middle tried to up the scoring rate but fell of next deliveries. D Malan could have blasted few out the ground but he decided the otherwise.
Chasing 127 runs to win Sussex did not have the best of the starts as they lost J Ryder in the very first over for the off spinner O Rayner. Essex kept loosing wickets at regular intervals and the Run-out of skipper R Bopara brought A Zaidi to the middle who straight away showed his intent by smacking 6 of the second ball he faced. With the help of England U 19 star D Lawrence he put on 36 runs partnership before the teenager was dismissed by experienced J Franklin. Although this brought in the designated finisher R ten Doeschate, it was Zaidi who decided that he would help his team win this game. Zaidi finished the innings with a straight 6 and had put on 42 runs partnership with Doeschate in just 2.3 overs. Meanwhile he scored his highest ever T20 score 59* with a strike rate of 245.83 smashing 5 sixers and 4 fours. Malan’s use of bowlers can be put into question as he could not make use of J Harris who playing his first T20 match of the season was bowled only once in which he conceded 11 runs of which a 4 has of a edge. Medium pacer R Higgins was entrusted than Harris and Franklin. Off Spinner O Rayner could have been given 1 more over he was found hard to hit giving away just 14 runs in his 3 over picking the valuable wicket of J Ryder.
This win means Essex stay in hunt for a Quarter final berth. But the loss means things get hard for Middlesex team to get a home Quarter Final at Lords, they will play their final game in the T20 blast against Gloucestershire in Bristol tomorrow.