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 Sport Stories

11:59
Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina

David Ospina says Arsenal must stay focused on their own performances rather than straining to chase down second-placed Manchester City.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Everton's Steven Naismith celebrates after scoring against Leicester in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park

Lowdown

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Arsenal in the Community head Alan Sefton at the new sports centre on Queensland Road

As Arsenal in the Community celebrate their 30th anniversary this week, it could certainly be said that the scheme has come full circle.

Most read sport

The portrait was designed by Jody Clark and received the Queen’s seal of approval. Coins will start appearing in circulation soon.

The portrait of the Queen used on UK coins has been updated, but on exactly how many coins will the design be carried?

The Bristol teenager went missing twelve days ago.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder