Eoin Morgan hails Middlesex surge in form after victory against Kent
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Eoin Morgan feels Middlesex’s impressive County Championship form has been a key factor in their recent improvement in white-ball cricket.
The Lord’s side, who lead the four-day table with six games remaining, have also just qualified for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals after three successive victories.
They are also very much in the hunt for a last eight berth in the Royal London One-Day Cup after seeing off Kent Spitfires by six wickets at Lord’s on Sunday.
England one-day captain Morgan struck an unbeaten 103, sharing a stand of 214 with fellow centurion Paul Stirling for the third wicket to propel Middlesex up to fourth place in the table.
“We’ve talked about potential for years and in essence we have a great squad of players,” said Morgan. “You can chop and change a few positions and the quality of the side wouldn’t really change that much.
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“I think it says a huge amount, when we’ve got guys coming in with potential like Nick Gubbins and Ryan Higgins, and the bowling unit is magnificent when Steve [Finn] or Toby [Roland-Jones] drops out.
“So that gives the guys who are actually playing huge confidence and a lot of that confidence comes from the red-ball guys – they’ve been on a hot streak at the moment.
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“It’s a case of taking confidence through and we’ve got to look towards the next game against Somerset [on Tuesday]. We’ll try not to rest on our laurels, realise the position that we’re in and work from there.”
Sean Dickson top-scored for the Spitfires, adding 135 for the third wicket with Darren Stevens and making 99 before he chopped a delivery from Finn onto his stumps.
Finn (2-31) and fellow seamer Tim Murtagh (2-28) were the pick of the Middlesex bowlers as they restricted the visitors to 238-7 from their 50 overs.
Middlesex made a shaky start to their run chase, with Higgins caught at slip for a first-ball duck and Gubbins (2) pushing at a wide one to leave them on 16-2.
But Stirling displayed some excellent shots as he made 112, with Morgan also reaching his ton as Middlesex clinched victory with more than five overs to spare.
“Paul was absolutely outstanding,” added Morgan. “We tend to have maybe one or two big partnerships a year and we managed to make this one of them.
“We’d like it to be a bit more consistent and we’ll strive towards that.”