Cricket: Malan laments Middlesex struggles

Middlesex's John Simpson bats during day four of the Specsavers County Championship Division two mat

Middlesex's John Simpson bats during day four of the Specsavers County Championship Division two match against Lancashire at Old Trafford - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan lamented his side’s batting struggles following their loss at Lancashire.

Chasing 270 at Old Trafford, they slumped to 3-3 and 55-5, before James Harris (38) and Martin Andersson put on 85.

But the visitors were always up against it after such a bad start and Andersson was last man out for 83 as they lost by 104 runs.

Malan said: "It's really tough for the batsmen at the moment. It's been a feature of our season that we've been three down inside the first 20 overs.

"We've played on some good wickets but the new ball has done enough and we probably haven't played it as well as we could have done."

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Having dismissed Lancashire for 259, Middlesex recovered from 34-6 to reach 337 in their first innings thanks largely to a career-best unbeaten 167 from John Simpson.

But the hosts dug in to score 347 second time around and the winning target proved beyond Malan's men as Lancashire celebrated winning the Division Two title.

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He added: "It's a bit doom and gloom but there are positives we can take out of things.

"We were in a position to win this game just as we were last week against Derbyshire. Even though we aren't playing as well as we are as a team, we are finding ways to keep a foot in the game.

"The way Martin Andersson batted after never batting in the top five before was fantastic. There are good signs but we just need to start doing things consistently as a team."

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