Berg keen to move up for Middlesex

ALL-ROUNDER Gareth Berg is keen to move up the Middlesex batting order after his match-winning innings against Derbyshire in the County Championship.

Berg’s knock of 80 at Derby rescued Middlesex from a perilous position after they slid to 197-6 on the final morning, chasing an awkward victory target of 328.

He shared a crucial seventh-wicket partnership of 97 with Ollie Rayner, who remained undefeated on 58 to guide Middlesex home by three wickets and take them to the top of Division Two.

“Seven is a good all-rounder’s role, but ideally I’d like to push up to six, depending on what’s needed for the team,” said Berg.

“I enjoy that position, where the captain or coach can give me confidence, saying ‘we realise you’re a good player, go up one or two and fill that spot’.

“The key thing is to remain consistent. I’ve worked hard and I’m loving the challenge and reaping the rewards at the moment.”

As well as his batting heroics, the 30-year-old’s form with the ball has also been an instrumental part of Middlesex’s flying start to the season, with a magnificent return of 4-18 restricting the home side to 154 all out in the hosts’ first innings at Derby.

Most Read

Former Derbyshire batsman Chris Rogers then put Middlesex into a strong position with a knock of 70, but they collapsed from 119-1 to 230 all out, with Tony Palladino taking 5-39 for the home side.

And Derbyshire fared better second time around, with opener Wes Durston hitting 96 and solid contributions all the way down the order enabling them to post 403.

Rogers (49) and Scott Newman (37) put on 79 for the first wicket, but Palladino (4-85) again made inroads before Berg and Rayner came together for a crucial partnership that took the visitors to within 35 runs of victory.

And Berg, pictured, made a significant impact again on Sunday as Middlesex opened their Clydesdale Bank40 campaign with a 24-run win over Worcestershire.

He was third top scorer with 31, behind Newman (34) and skipper Neil Dexter (48) as Middlesex totalled 206 from 39.4 overs.

But Vikram Solanki’s 61 left Worcestershire well-placed before Rayner and Toby Roland-Jones collected two wickets apiece and Berg (4-24) then ripped through the lower middle order as the home side were dismissed for 182.

Middlesex are currently in County Championship action against crosstown rivals Surrey at Lord’s and have a 40-over double header over the coming Bank Holiday weekend against the Netherlands on Sunday and then Kent on Monday (both 1.45pm).