Middlesex v Warwickshire, Royal London One-Day Cup
With a series of injuries, international call-ups and niggles ruling out four of the Bears’ main strike seam bowlers, Warwickshire gave List A debuts to leg-spinner Josh Poysden and 17-year old all-rounder, Aaron Thomason, who made his debut in any form of senior cricket.
Warwickshire found run scoring difficult after winning the toss and batting at Lord’s against Middlesex before losing William Porterfield to a catch at mid-wicket by Rogers off Murtagh’s bowling.
Jonathan Trott’s return to the ground was greeted by a rousing reception when he came out to replace Porterfield and he quickly showed the appreciative crowd that he was in good touch as he and Varun Chopra posted a second wicket partnership of 89 from 135 deliveries. The partnership ended when Chopra was well caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Chris Rogers off Toby-Roland Jones just four runs short of his half-century.
Steve Finn picked up Tim Ambrose’s wicket for 14 as the batsmen struggled to play shots on a slow surface giving assistance to the bowlers, but when Trott 78 fell in the 41st over with 158 on the board, and Clarke followed six runs later, it looked as if Warwickshire may fall short of making a realistic total for the home side to chase. However, some strong late hitting from Laurie Evans 46 from 39 balls, including two sixes, well supported by Ateeq Javid 15 and Jeetan Patel 16* from 10 balls, helped the Bears reach a competitive 240-7 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Middlesex lost Malan 5 and Gubbins 5 to Hannon-Dalby and Clarke, but Chris Rogers and Eoin Morgan looked to be setting up a Middlesex victory with their partnership of 94 for the third wicket until Poysden trapped their skipper lbw as he missed an attempted reverse hit for 32.
With Chris Rogers completing a half century and Ryan Higgins hitting the ball hard, the fourth wicket pair added a run-a-ball 59 before Patel removed Higgins with the first ball of the second power play.
Two runs later and with his century just four runs away, Rogers was well caught by Chopra off Javid and then Poysden collected a second wicket when Dexter was stumped by Ambrose and Patel removed the dangerous John Simpson 23 as he looked to be starting to edge Middlesex home.
With overs running out, Roland Jones was run out by Ambrose from Evans’ sharp throw leaving Murtagh and Finn to score 13 for victory from the final over.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby held his nerve and despite a couple of heart in mouth moments, his full length deliveries to Finn were too good to allow Middlesex any opportunity to get the boundaries needed and Warwickshire held on to complete a tremendous four run victory to start their Royal London One Day Trophy campaign off in winning style.