‘T20 victory is now vital for Middlesex this week’

Tim Murtagh’s exclusive Middlesex column

Until last Friday, I’d never been involved in a game where the lights went out, but it’s a pity it didn’t happen a bit earlier.

We’d all shaken hands with the Glamorgan players and agreed to call it a day – then the lights came back on and we had to go back for the last couple of overs, which seemed a bit pointless as the match was beyond us.

You wonder if the staff at Cardiff might have been in more of a rush to get the lights working if we’d been ahead on Duckworth-Lewis at that stage!

Overall, you have to say they caught us on the hop a bit. We didn’t bowl particularly well and conceded 20 or 30 -odd too many, leaving ourselves too much to do with the bat.

It was a similar story at Taunton – the ground is small and it’s such a good pitch for batting that 200 is probably a par score there in t20. Unfortunately, it looked at one stage as if Somerset might be on course for about 300.

They’re a quality team, with so many powerful hitters who keep coming hard at you, and I‘ll be very surprised if they don’t make it to finals day this year.

Most Read

The most positive aspect of the Somerset game was our batting, though – especially Simmo, who played really well, and Paul Stirling. He hits the ball hard and hopefully he can stay in a bit longer during the next few games.

The games aren’t going to get any easier, with Essex and Sussex over the next couple of days, and we do need a win, not just from the point of view of a confidence boost, but also to get some momentum going.

Unfortunately we’re going to be without Bergy and Dawid Malan for a while and those are two big blows – they’d both have been key players for us in t20 and they’re sorely missed.

But you have to expect injuries along the way and be prepared for those. It means that some other guys who might not have been expecting to play suddenly have a chance to stake their claim, and hopefully someone will step up to fill those gaps.

Eoin Morgan would also have been a big player for us in t20, but his Test innings against Sri Lanka the other day means we probably won’t be seeing him for a while yet – and that’s got to be good news when you look at the overall picture.

If we want to produce England players, we can’t complain when they’re successful, and it’s great to see Morgy get some runs. He’s a quality player and he’s proved it to those people who said that Bopara should have been picked instead of him.

It was also good to see Finny doing well for England. He’s now the youngest Englishman to take 50 Test wickets and that’s a great achievement, a reward he deserves for his hard work.

That’s something no-one can take away from him – well, until someone younger comes along and does it, I suppose!