On Sunday Middlesex host their first Championship match of the season at Mill Hill School against Berkshire. It is free entry to the game which starts at 11am.
Middlesex will be looking to register their first 50 over win of the season after a tough start to the competition against Lancashire and Yorkshire. The county has named a squad of twelve, including England batsman Fran Wilson and New Zealand quick Holly Huddleston.
The squad should head into the match with confidence after retaining the London Cup on Thursday night as the match went down to the final delivery. The side’s batting was very strong in this fixture with T20 skipper Natasha Miles scoring 54, Beth Morgan 40 and Catherine Dalton a quick fire 21. The batting will be further strengthened by the return of England batsman Wilson and allrounder Isabelle Westbury.
Morgan and Miles will hope to continue their strong run of form and have both shown they have the ability to play the anchor role, while still accumulating runs at a good rate.
Wilson has enjoyed a good start to the summer making runs against a United Arab Emirates boys’ team and a young Ireland XI on a recent England training camp to the UAE. Last season she was the county's leading run-scorer, accumulating 248 at an average of 60.00 in just six innings and will look to pick up where she left off.
In the bowling department, Middlesex will once again be led by Huddleston who was pivotal in the county retaining the London Cup. Huddleston can be relied on to deliver an economical ten overs and can also be a key partnership breaker. Gayatri Gole might open alongside Huddleston, as the pair look to claim early wickets as they did against Lancashire in the opening fixture of the competition. On this occasion Gole claimed 3-49 from nine overs.
The prize Berkshire wicket will be New Zealand wicketkeeper Rachel Priest who will be looking to make her mark on the competition and find form ahead of the Women’s World Cup. Number three Sherisa Gumbs played well against Lancashire, scoring 65 and is another player Middlesex will hope to dismiss cheaply.
Westbury will strengthen Middlesex's spin department with her well-flighted off-spin, though they will be without a key bowler in England Senior Academy leg-spinner Sophia Dunkley. Morgan will likely get the opportunity to deliver a few overs of spin, especially if the Berkshire batsmen look comfortable against the seam attack.
Lauren Bell will probably open the bowling for Berkshire and the Middlesex batsmen will look to negotiate her deliveries carefully, and perhaps take on the bowler from the other end as Bell has proven to be a key wicket-taker for the visitors.
Both sides have new captains who will be eager to get their first win on the board and with Kia Super League and international players involved it looks set to be an exciting match.
Naomi Dattani (c)