After a comprehensive victory under the floodlights at the Ageas Bowl against Hampshire yesterday evening, where Middlesex got up and running with their first victory in the competition, they name a fourteen-man squad for tomorrow’s Royal London One-Day Cup clash with London rivals Surrey at the Kia Oval.
The only change to Middlesex’s squad from the fourteen named to face Hampshire last night, is the omission of Sam Robson, who injured a hamstring at the Ageas Bowl, and is replaced by the in-form Stephen Eskinazi, who himself hit a century at Southgate for the Second Eleven yesterday, after returning to full fitness himself recently.
Eskinazi has been in superb form with the bat this term, already hitting knocks of 82, 45, 100, 62 in the County Championship with the red ball, at an average of 72.25, before yesterday hitting 117 with the white ball for the Seconds. He will be hopeful that this run continues tomorrow, if he gets the nod to replace Sam Robson, ahead of Nick Compton who is again included in the squad.
Middlesex secured two points from last night’s victory and moved to third in the table, with three points from their opening three fixtures, in what will no doubt prove to be a hugely competitive South Group of the fifty over competition.
Nick Gubbins hit a sublime hundred at the Ageas Bowl last night, which helped Middlesex to a total of 295 from their fifty overs, before Toby Roland-Jones stole the show, taking 4 for 10 in seven brilliant overs to earn himself the man of the match award. Middlesex will head to the Oval tomorrow in good spirits, having well and truly shaken of the frustration of earning just a point from the rained off match against Sussex and the disappointment of the defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire.
Surrey themselves come into the clash on the back of a defeat in a grippingly close encounter with Essex at the Oval on Tuesday. Surrey looked dead and buried when only managing to post an under-par target of just 210 in their innings, however Essex made hard work of their run chase, in what proved to be a wonderful advertisement for this form of the game. Recovering from 12 for 3 at one point, Essex eventually crawled over the victory line, nine wickets down, with just four balls to spare.
That defeat left Surrey with one win and two losses from their opening three matches, having also lost to Somerset in their opening clash of the competition down in Taunton.
The corresponding fixture last season was played out at Lord’s, where Sky televised a wet and rainy affair, which ultimately saw Middlesex exit the competition at the group stages, and saw Surrey progress to the knockout stages, after the visitors secured a five wicket win via Duckworth Lewis.
Middlesex’s Fourteen Man Squad…
James Franklin (capt)
John Simpson (wicket-keeper)