Malan praises Middlesex team-mates after tense win

Middlesex batsmen Dawid Malan and Stevie Eskinazi (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Middlesex batsmen Dawid Malan and Stevie Eskinazi (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Last-wicket pair see defending champions edge past Warwickshire

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan paid tribute to his team-mates after their tense one-wicket win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

The defending champions, looking to put an innings defeat at Essex behind them, looked well set at 170-5, in pursuit of 234, but suffered some late jitters before Tim Murtagh and Tom Helm saw them home to a much-needed win.

And Malan said: “It was a fantastic bounce-back by the guys to what happened at Chelmsford. To get over the line when at one point it didn’t look like we would, was a great effort.

“It was a fantastic effort from Warwickshire to take the game so deep into the fourth day. Usually, teams fold over if you are defending 200 and there is a good partnership going, but they stuck at it and our boys really had to show their courage.

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“We are missing a few experienced players and the young guys stuck their hands up and showed the depth we have at the club.”

Steve Eskinazi’s 179 had helped Middlesex match the home side’s 334 in their first innings, before Helm (5-59) claimed his first five-wicket haul to dismiss Warwickshire for 233 second time around.

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Nick Compton (49) and John Simpson (40) then put Middlesex in the driving seat, before a late wobble, and Malan added: “It was a really good game played on a fantastic pitch where there was something for the seamers, there was a little bit for the spinners and it was just a good cricket wicket and that’s what you want. Credit needs to go the groundsman.

“We definitely needed the win. We have always been aware that we have been probably two wins away from the top three and we are quite realistic in that we know we haven’t played our best cricket in patches.

“But we have got a squad with a lot of depth and this is a good time for this win in the context of the season because for the next game we will have a few of the senior guys back.”

Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton said: “At the start of the game we said we need to compete all the way through the four days and walk off at the end knowing we have given everything and the guys have done that.

“We could be picky and look at 20 runs here and a decision there but we have 11 very dejected guys in there very disappointed at not having got over the line.

“Another 20 or 30 runs would have just put that little bit more pressure on Middlesex but even then the bowlers did really well. We knew they would have a partnership or two when we would have to hang in there and we did that but in the end we just ran out of runs

“If we put in that level of fight and effort we will get ourselves over the line in games. We know we need wins. At the back end of the season we have a lot of home games and we need to use that to our advantage, but right now, disappointing as the championship season has been, we need to park that and focus on T20.”

Middlesex now turn their attentions to the Natwest T20 Blast and their opening match against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on Friday (2.30pm).

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