Having lost their unbeaten record at Lord’s this season on Thursday night to Essex in front of the Sky cameras in the NatWest T20 Blast, Middlesex have the perfect opportunity to swiftly enact their revenge on Sunday, when Essex again visit the Home of Cricket, to take on James Franklin’s men in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Having secured the win on Thursday night in the short format of the game to keep their hopes of qualification for the T20 Blast quarter finals well and truly alive, Essex can go one better on Sunday, for a win for the Chelmsford based side at Lord’s would guarantee them a knockout place in the fifty over competition. Essex’s victory killed off any hopes that Middlesex had of banking a home quarter final in the twenty over competition, however reversing that result on Sunday will see the home side take a significant step towards securing a last four finish in the One-Day Cup South Group and progressing to the knockout stages.
Essex and Somerset are currently locked together on nine points at the top of the table, there are then five sides, Middlesex included, tied in third place on six points – all having completed six of their eight group stage matches. In what has shaped up to be such a tight South Group, where realistically any one of seven sides can still secure one of the four knockout berths up for grabs, Sunday’s game, followed by a crucial London derby with Surrey next Tuesday under the floodlights at Lord’s, will have a massive bearing on Middlesex’s aspirations as a side this season.
Having already qualified for the last eight of the T20, and currently sitting at the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division One table, unbeaten in ten matches, Middlesex have undoubtedly made significant strides forward this season, although with the club holding ambitions to compete in all three competitions they’ll be fighting hard to secure a win on Sunday to keep those hopes alive. It’s been some ten years since Middlesex and Essex locked horns in a fifty over domestic clash at Lord’s, and whilst that result will have little bearing on Sunday’s match, it’s an intriguing quirk to note that one Chris Silverwood played for the Middlesex side that day in the C&G Trophy, back in June 2006, as the home side claimed a five wicket victory! On Sunday, that same Chris Silverwood will be back at Lord’s again, although as Essex’s Head Coach.
James Franklin will head into the game on Sunday missing a few of the names that you’d normally expect to see within a fifty over Middlesex squad, with Eoin Morgan and James Fuller definitely ruled out through Injury, whilst Steven Finn also misses out ahead of the third Investec Test match starting later in the week. Paul Stirling is included within the squad, although will face a fitness test on the day of the game as he nears recovery from a minor shoulder injury that has kept him out of Middlesex’s last two Twenty over clashes.
The 15 man squad to face Essex:
James Franklin ( captain), George Bailey, Stephen Eskinazi, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Tim Murtagh, Harry Podmore, Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Toby Roland-Jones, Nathan Sowter, Paul Stirlng, John Simpson.
The match is scheduled to start at 11am at Lord's Middlesex members gain free entry to the match Tickets are on sale from the ground from 10am Adults £20, over 65's £10 and under 16's £5.
It's Family Day at Lord's tomorrow, with some fab activities taking place and Pinky's Pavilion will be on the Nursery ground.