After securing an important five wicket win down in Taunton last Friday night against Somerset in the NatWest T20 Blast, Middlesex head into another crucial T20 clash on Thursday night at the Home of Cricket against London rivals Surrey under the Lord’s floodlights.
With Middlesex currently sitting in fourth place in the South Group on eleven points and Surrey just one point behind them in sixth place, both sides remain firmly in contention for finishing in one of the four knockout places up for grabs in the South Group and whichever side comes out victorious on Thursday will take one giant leap towards securing one of those quarter final berths.
With the competition’s group stages nearing their completion, the pressure and intensity is building with every fixture, and Thursday night will certainly be no different. Played out in front of a packed Lord’s, with a capacity crowd of 28,000 in the stands, the atmosphere for the battle of the capital promises to be absolutely electric.
With momentum on their side Middlesex will head into the clash high in spirits looking to build on their victory down in the West Country, although they’ll have to do so without their captain Dawid Malan and frontline seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who are both playing in the England Lions tri-series against Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A. In Malan’s absence, Middlesex’s fifty over white ball captain, James Franklin, will pick up the reins of captaincy for this one.
Middlesex are however boosted by the return of Irish duo, Paul Stirling and Tim Murtagh, who have returned from their series against Afghanistan and are named within Middlesex thirteen man squad.
Whilst Middlesex come into the game at Lord's on the back of a good win, Surrey themselves visit the Home of Cricket having been heavily beaten in their last T20 Blast outing against Kent at Canterbury. Whilst Middlesex’s rivals from south of the river came out on top in the return fixture at the Oval earlier in the campaign, in what was an uncharacteristically poor night for the Seaxes, Middlesex will be hoping that current form and momentum will see this result reversed at Lord’s.
The corresponding fixture here at Lord’s last year saw the home side prevail by a margin of 43 runs, as John Simpson (53), Eoin Morgan (48) and James Franklin (41) all weighed in with heavy runs for Middlesex as the hosts posted a total of 185. With all three batsmen still firing in the Middlesex ranks, and included in the squad for Thursday’s game, the Seaxes will be hopeful of a repeat of that result at Lord’s.
Middlesex name the following thirteen-man squad…
James Franklin (captain)