Glamorgan 145/1 beat Middlesex 144/8 by 9 wickets.
Glamorgan underlined their mastery of the short-form game in the bucolic surroundings of Old Deer Park by thrashing Middlesex to secure a seventh win in eight completed NatWest T20 Blast matches. The Welsh county were on course for victory within eight overs as Middlesex were reduced to 39-5. Eoin Morgan and Ryan Higgins both made fifties but 144-8 never looked enough and Glamorgan knocked off the runs for the loss of one wicket with 21 balls to spare.
Mark Wallace led the way with 69 not out, David Lloyd contributing 49 in a 125-run opening partnership. Two wins from their remaining five South group matches should now secure Glamorgan a place in the last eight but Middlesex have work to do to join them. Middlesex head division one of the Specsavers County Championship while Glamorgan are bottom of division two, but the challenges of T20 cricket are very different to the four-day format and the visitors soon showed why they went into the tie four points clear of their hosts.
Shaun Tait is now 33 years’ old, but the Australian is still capable of hurrying batsmen. His first ball knocked over Dawid Malan’s stumps and his sixth was edged by Paul Stirling to wicketkeeper Wallace. MIddlesex’s attempts to rebuild were cut short by three wickets in eight balls, two to Timm van der Gugten. That Middlesex 39-5 in the ninth over and in danger of being dismissed before the after-work crowd had even arrived. Eoin Morgan, fresh from leading England to victory over Sri Lanka this week, eschewed his usual attacking game to rebuild with rookie Higgins. Aside from slapping van der Guyten over mid-off in the tenth over, and a reverse sweep off Dean Cosker in the 12th, Morgan proceeded cautiously. With five overs and a ball remaining Middlesex were 76-5.
Morgan signalled the charge, clubbing Graeme Wagg over mid-wicket for six. The next over went for 19, the first of the innings to reap double figures. When Morgan was caught by Aneurin Donald for 58 Higgins, who had made 27 for thrice out previously this season, all in T20, took up the mantle. Wagg’s next over went for 20 as the Zimbabwean-born bat reached the first 50 of his career finishing unbeaten on 57 from 41 balls. The last 31 balls had gone for 78 runs but Middlesex still looked 20-30 runs short. Needing early wickets Malan gave Toby Roland-Jones, newly called into the England Test squad, three overs from the off.
However, the breakthrough proved elusive. Roland-Jones did induce a false shot from Wallace, when the batsman was on nine, but the ball looped gently short of point. IWallace took swift advantage, lobbing a high full toss from Fuller for four, and cutting the subsequent free-hit to the same boundary. When the powerplay finished Glamorgan were 56-0 and they never looked back, Colin Ingram finishing the match with three successive sixes of Ollie Rayner.