Middlesex captain stunned by defeat

James Franklin of Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

James Franklin of Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Middlesex captain James Franklin was left stunned by his side’s county championship defeat against Warwickshire.

The defending champions were set an unlikely target of 327 for victory at Lord’s, after the visitors were finally dismissed for 361 on the final day of their match.

But they collapsed to 45-6 as Chris Woakes (3-38) and Keith Barker (3-21) made inroads with the ball and were eventually all out for 136 in just 30 overs.

And Franklin said: “I have just sat down for a chat with Richard Scott, our head coach, because we wanted to try to work out what the heck has just happened over those last two hours.

“I have looked through our dismissals in that second innings and I don’t think many balls have done that much.

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“A couple of us have missed straight ones, and been bowled or lbw, but this morning we felt we were well and truly in the game and it was shattering when Keith Barker and Chris Wright took their stand to 97.

“We felt they might have scored 60 or 70 more than we should have let them in that second innings, but in the end it was almost 200 too many!”

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Having dismissed Warwickshire for 126, Middlesex themselves could only make 161 as 20 wickets fell in total on the first day.

And they saw the visitors produce a much stronger batting display second time around, with Matthew Lamb (71), Barker (62 not out), Jonathan Trott (54) and Woakes (53) all hitting half-centuries.

The Middlesex top order was blown away in the final innings of the match, before Nathan Sowter rallied with 37 off 23 balls.

And they found themselves 88-9, before last man Steven Finn smacked an unbeaten 31 off 16 deliveries, including six boundaries.

Franklin added: “I think we missed a trick on day one, after bowling them out for 126, because if we had still been batting on the second morning we could have built a match-winning lead there and then.

“I don’t think there is much blame to be put on the pitch, there was some pretty ordinary batting and some good bowling by them and that created a sort of a perfect storm.”

Middlesex turn their attention back to the Natwest T20 Blast on Thursday, when they welcome Sussex to Lord’s.

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