After the disappointment of yesterday’s seven-wicket defeat at the hands of London rivals Surrey at the Kia Oval, Middlesex have the chance to right the wrongs of that performance, when they head to Canterbury on Sunday to take on a Kent side who have been on the losing side in each of their fifty over encounters this term.
After yesterday’s defeat, Middlesex Captain James Franklin was honest in his assessment of their performance, acknowledging that his side were outplayed by Surrey on a day when Middlesex were significantly below their best. That said, with the group stages only half completed, and with little separating the sides fighting for those three top spots to progress to the knockout stages, putting a run together now still very much keeps Middlesex in the hunt to move forward in the competition.
Kent themselves have suffered three consecutive defeats and sit rock bottom of the table, losing to Hampshire in their opening clash, then to Somerset and finally to Sussex yesterday, although in their last two clashes they’ve hit 352 and 331 in their innings, proving that they’ve got plenty on offer in the batting ranks. Daniel Bell Drummond has been in superb form to date, and heads into Sunday’s clash on the back of consecutive white ball hundreds, whilst Alex Blake isn’t too far behind him, with knocks of 116 and 76 in his last two outings for Kent.
Middlesex’s own Nick Gubbins leads the way for the Seaxes, with a half century yesterday at the Oval to add to the magnificent hundred he scored at the Ageas Bowl earlier in the week, and he looks in sublime form right now. As does John Simpson, who continues to perform across all formats for Middlesex, adding another one-day half century yesterday to his many achievements for the club, with a fluent knock of 75 off 83 balls on a wicket that wasn’t conducive to free-flowing stroke-play.
Middlesex will have their sights set on bouncing back and putting themselves right back in the fight in the South Group on Sunday, although against a high scoring Kent side, they’ll need to be at their best with both bat and ball to give themselves a chance of returning to winning ways. With Franklin looking for a performance from his team to match that at the Ageas Bowl, there’s no better time for Middlesex to deliver one.
Middlesex name a 14 man squad for Sunday’s clash at Kent…
James Franklin (capt)