This week is vital for Middlesex, says Scott Newman
It’s a crucial week in the County Championship – and our chances of winning the division should be much clearer by the end of it.
Leicestershire have been one of the weaker sides, so we’ve got to try and grab full points from them in the game that’s going on at the moment.
And the Northamptonshire against Surrey match is a big one for both teams – it’s probably Surrey’s last chance to make a big push and it wouldn’t surprise me if Northants play for a draw to try and stay ahead.
We’ve got big games still to come and we just need to concentrate on the games we’re playing, then – if we’re where we hope to be at the end of the week – try and win the competition.
It’s fair to say we certainly had the upper hand in our game at Northampton last week and it was very disappointing to have the last day washed out like that when we had them under pressure.
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We thought the pitch would be in favour of the bowlers and we didn’t bowl too well in that initial session, but then we pulled it back and to bowl them out for 270 on a deck like that was a tremendous effort.
Then we were in control of the game – we produced a good all-round showing with the bat, and it was only the rain that defeated us in the end. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened if the weather had held up.
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Obviously it was annoying for me personally to get out on 95. I think I’ve got about seven or eight 90s in my career, but looking on the positive side I was pleased that me and Robbo got off to a good start.
The rest of the guys built on that, especially Dawid Malan, who scored a really good hundred, and then Ollie Rayner gave us some late impetus. It’s happened throughout the year, players have shown up when they’ve needed to.
I didn’t get much of a chance to score any runs in the CB40 win over Sussex on Monday, but that’s fine – our top four did brilliantly and to beat a top side like that proves how far we’ve come this year.
You can always look back –maybe we’ve been a bit inconsistent at some stages in the CB40 and could have won some of our games by bigger margins, but I think we’ve got a good platform to build on in terms of how we go about playing our one-day cricket in the future.
Talking of one-day cricket, there’s been some criticism of the ‘super over’ that was used in both of the t20 semi-finals at Edgbaston last weekend, but personally I don’t see any better way to decide a tie.
If they’d have done countback or something like that, I think that’d be unfair. T20 cricket is all about the crowd and I’d say having one over and seeing what happens gives them something exciting to watch.