Search

Middlesex never lost belief despite run of defeats, says Dexter

07:16 07 August 2014

Neil Dexter (left) congratulates Eoin Morgan on his century against Surrey. Pic: Sarah Williams

Neil Dexter (left) congratulates Eoin Morgan on his century against Surrey. Pic: Sarah Williams

SARAH WILLIAMS

Neil Dexter says the spirit and belief in the Middlesex camp never dipped during their recent five-match losing streak in all competitions.

The Lord’s side followed their County Championship loss to Yorkshire with successive defeats in the NatWest T20 Blast and another two at the start of the Royal London Cup.

Those last two results raised fears that the Panthers’ hopes of progress in the 50-over tournament could disintegrate in similar fashion to their T20 campaign.

But they stopped the rot with a six-wicket success in their next group tie against Surrey, thanks to an unbroken partnership of 166 between Dexter and skipper Eoin Morgan, who blazed 128 not out from just 86 balls.

“We needed a win,” said Dexter. “It had been a tough time for us, especially losing the last few games on the bounce, with not much rest in between.

“It was never going to be easy but Morgy said before the game that, as long as we stuck to what we’d been doing and kept the belief that we could win games, it would happen and it would turn for us.

“The good thing with our dressing-room is that everyone gets each other, and I must admit with some other dressing-rooms, when you’re having such a bad run, you see guys throwing comments towards each other.

“Although we’d been losing games, we had some good positive chats and everyone was trying their hardest. We didn’t lose games through any lack of trying.”

Middlesex struggled to build partnerships at the crease during their first two Royal London Cup games, against Glamorgan and Warwickshire – a problem that appeared to be rearing its head again in the Surrey match.

Chasing the visitors’ total of 286-6, the Panthers were in trouble at 126-4 when Dexter joined his captain at the wicket, but his supporting knock of 47 not out helped to secure victory with five overs to spare.

And Dexter – who led Middlesex’s limited-overs side until he decided to relinquish the reins at the end of last season – was full of praise for his successor’s performance.

“Morgy’s an exceptional talent and he’s great to bat with,” added Dexter. “Personally I haven’t been in the form I’d like – it’s just started to feel a lot better and he took a lot of the pressure off me.

“I was the one that was probably meant to be taking the pressure off him, but that very positive, risk-free cricket is his natural way of playing, and that innings just showed the class of the man.

“Previously we’ve got partnerships going but lost wickets at crucial times – especially against Warwickshire, when we were in such a good position and should have beaten them. This time everything just clicked.

“We knew that, if we were both there towards the last 10 overs and kept knocking the ball around at six an over, that’d keep us in the game.

“Obviously the fielding side then start losing a bit of hope – if you’re taking wickets, you’ve always got the belief you can win the game.

“It’s still early days but we’re back in the competition and there are a lot of positives to take from this.”

Middlesex’s next 50-over fixture is on Thursday against Somerset at Lord’s (10.30am). The Panthers will be without pace bowler Steven Finn, who was recalled to the England squad for the fourth Test against India, also starting on Thursday in Manchester.

Latest Islington Sports News

13:15
Islington BC's Cherrelle Brown shows off her England Boxing Elite Championship belt with coaches Jerry Mitchell (left) and Lenny Hagland (right).

Islington BC light-welterweight Cherrelle Brown made a small dent in Leicester’s triumphant sporting weekend as she retained her England Boxing Elite Championship crown.

12:01
Paul Weekes of Hornsey CC

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes the appointment of Paul Weekes as captain is a huge boost to their promotion prospects.

10:01
Highgate celebrate after clinching promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three last season. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Highgate are readying themselves for new challenges after going through last season unbeaten as they cruised to the Division Three championship.

09:01
North London CC captain Sam Bardon

North London’s new captain Sam Bardon is hoping his side can pick up where they left off at the end of last season.

07:05
Middlesex batsman Stephen Eskinazi. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Stephen Eskinazi’s route to Lord’s has certainly been a roundabout one – but now the South African-born Australian-raised Englishman is right where he wants to be.

Yesterday, 17:04
Leicester City's Wes Morgan (centre) celebrates after scoring against Manchester United

It’s funny how tribalism can consume you in football. Over the last few years, I imagine that most of us have been guilty of retreating into our respective corners of fandom, and with good reason: there isn’t a lot else to like.

Yesterday, 16:53
Islington Police Warthogs RFC

Karl Latham gave Islington Police Warthogs belated cause for celebration by becoming their only try-scorer at the Commissioner’s Cup Sevens tournament on Sunday.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe