Middlesex defeat hard to swallow for Malan
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Middlesex captain Dawid Malan admitted their 70-run loss at Gloucestershire in the Vitality Blast T20 was ‘hard to swallow’.
Ian Cockbain hit 123 off 61 balls to lead the hosts to 242-4, their second-highest total ever in the competition.
And the visitors could only manage 172-6 in reply, with Stevie Eskinazi (51) top scoring after Malan was dismissed for 15 at the top of the order.
Malan said: “That was Gloucestershire’s second highest T20 total and I remember their best (at Uxbridge in 2011) because it was against us and I was captain then too!
“It was not a 240 pitch, probably more like 200 or 190, and we were poor with the ball, even though it was probably our best bowling power-play so far. To let them score another 180 from the last 14 overs was pretty disappointing and we didn’t execute our plans.
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“We know we have some great strikers of the ball at the top of our order and, with the wind and the short boundary, we didn’t feel out of it at halfway. We got a decent start with the bat, yet still ended 70 runs short, which is hard to swallow.”
Cockbain added: “I don’t think I have ever struck the ball cleaner, which is strange because I haven’t been hitting the ball that well in the last couple of weeks. It helped that the Middlesex bowlers didn’t get it quite right on the night and allowed me to hit to the shorter boundary.
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“We know now that we have several batsmen capable of going big in T20. It was my night tonight, but if I don’t come off there are a number of others with the ability to score quickly and that is one of the reasons we are doing so well.”