Berg backs Middlesex to bounce back from Yorkshire reverse
Gareth Berg believes Middlesex remain on course to repeat last year’s top-three County Championship finish, despite their 10-wicket hammering by Yorkshire.
Berg was the only Middlesex player to pass 50 in either innings at Lord’s as they were dismissed for 175 and 219 against the Yorkshiremen, whose victory lifted them to the top of Division One.
It was the first time Middlesex, who dropped to fourth place in the table at the halfway stage of the season, had lost a home County Championship fixture in over two years.
But the Middlesex all-rounder feels his side can be satisfied with their overall performances to date as the focus switches towards one-day and Twenty20 issues over the next few weeks.
“That record speaks for itself,” Berg told london24.com. “It shows how well we usually play at home. We know our home ground, with the slope and everything, and we know how to bat and bowl on our wickets.
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“So we thought we could have held the upper hand against a team like Yorkshire, who hadn’t played a Championship game at Lord’s for a long time.
“It’s frustrating thinking about it. We’d have liked to finish on a high before a new competition starts and there’s nothing worse than going into those games with a loss.
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“But I think we have shown teams again in the first half of the season that we play good cricket as a unit and our positive attitude will go forward into the next game.
“This time last year we were probably more optimistic than we are this year, but now we’ve got our feet on the ground knowing that we are good enough to be in the top three.
“There’s a long way to go and I definitely think we can finish in that top three again if we play the same positive brand of cricket we have done in the first half of the season.”
Coincidentally, Middlesex’s first opportunity to bounce back from their defeat comes against Yorkshire on Thursday, when they travel to Headingley for a YB40 Group C tie (1.45pm start).
The Panthers kick-started their 40-over campaign by beating Yorkshire – who are now out of contention for a semi-final berth – three weeks ago at Radlett, and they need to maintain their momentum by repeating that success.
“They’ll have scars from that game,” added Berg, who plays at Radlett in the Home Counties League.
“We definitely want to show them again that we’re a good team and bring back some pride.
“It is a different competition, but we’re on a roll in the one-day format at the moment and we’ve got to try and get another couple of wins under our belts.”
Middlesex are also in YB40 action on Sunday, when they take on the Unicorns side at Garon Park, Southend, with new overseas signing Adam Voges expected to make his debut for the county.