Match Report: Essex Eagles v Middlesex

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Middlesex v Essex Eagles

Vitality Blast
Lord’s, St John’s Wood

 

Team News:

Middlesex: Stevie Eskinazi (c), Max Holden, Joe Cracknell, John Simpson (wk), Jack Davies, Luke Hollman, Martin Andersson, Chris Green, Jason Behrendorff, Thilan Walallawita, Toby Greatwood.

Essex Eagles: Adam Rossington (wk), Feroze Khushi, Michael Pepper, Dan Lawrence, Tom Westley, Paul Walter, Daniel Sams, Simon Harmer (c), Aaron Beard, Ben Allison, Sam Cook.

Match Details:

Umpires: Neil Mallender & Chris Watts
Match Referee: Alec Swann
Toss: Middlesex, who elected to field
Result: won by runs

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights:

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Match Reaction:

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Match Report:

Sam Cook’s stunning triple-wicket maiden kept Essex Eagles in the hunt for a Vitality Blast quarter-final berth as they beat Middlesex by 21 runs at Lord’s.

Seamer Cook ripped the heart out of Middlesex’s top order with the wickets of Max Holden, Joe Cracknell and wicket-keeper John Simpson en route to figures of 3/23. Aaron Beard (2/22) and Simon Harmer (2/26) provided great support as the hosts capitulated to 140-8 chasing a victory target of 162, only Steve Eskinazi (43) and Jack Davies (41) putting up prolonged resistance.

Earlier, Dan Lawrence (51) and Tom Westley (50) set a new record for the fifth wicket against Middlesex with their stand of 84, eclipsing that of 63 by Paul Grayson and Andy Flower back in 2003, as the visitors reached 161-6 despite three for 16 from Chris Green.

Toby Greatwood, on his Lord’s debut, made an early breakthrough for Middlesex when Feroze Khushi nicked him to Simpson and after threatening to cut loose Adam Rossington was pinned in front by Jason Behrendorf (1/17).

The in-form Michael Pepper flowered briefly, hoisting Thilan Walallawita’s first ball into the Mound Stand, but fell trying to repeat the shot, and when Paul Walter also holed out in the deep off the impressive Green Essex were 67-4.

Lawrence and Westley rebuilt, the former taking heavy toll of the wayward Martin Andersson before lofting Walallawita for six as he reached 50 in 32 balls. Westley’s 50 was scratchier and saw him given three lives. Simpson failed to stump the Eagles’ skipper on 22, while Greatwood grassed a chance on 33, both off the luckless Luke Hollman, and Holden shelled a third opportunity when Westley had 48.

Fortunately for the hosts, neither half-centurion could kick on and only 11 runs came from the final three overs.

If their total looked a little light, Cook’s momentous over soon made it look much larger. Holden edged Cook’s first ball and though Rossington fumbled the chance, Harmer grabbed the rebound at slip. Cracknell lasted two balls before lobbing the gentlest of caught and bowled chances back to the bowler and the final ball saw Simpson brilliantly caught at second slip by Lawrence to leave the hosts in tatters at 9-3.

Jack Davies hit Harmer into the Edrich stand as he and Steve Eskinazi attempted a salvage operation, raising a 50 partnership off 41 balls.
When Cook returned Eskinazi struck him for six over point, but the run-rate required kept climbing and scoreboard pressure told when Eskinazi slapped one from Aaron Beard straight to Cook at cover to end the stand at 86.

Davies was caught in the deep in the next over and despite some late six-hitting from Behrendorf Essex won with relative comfort as Middlesex suffered an eight defeat in nine in the competition.