Middlesex defeated by Hampshire in One-Day Cup opener
- Credit: Archant
Middlesex tasted defeat for the first time at Radlett as they lost their opening Royal London One-Day Cup tie to Hampshire by five wickets.
Brendon McCullum top scored with 74 as the home side, who were put in to bat, posted 295-8, but Hampshire eased to victory with three balls to spare under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Middlesex appeared to be motoring when McCullum and Dawid Malan put together an opening partnership of exactly 100, with the Kiwi import hitting Gareth Andrew for three boundaries in an over to bring up his half-century.
Although Malan (25) and McCullum both fell to leg-spinner Mason Crane (4-80) in quick succession, Nick Gubbins and Eoin Morgan rebuilt with a stand of 76 to take their side to a healthy 190-2.
But Gubbins fell lbw to Sean Ervine for 32 and Paul Stirling made just two before Morgan – having batted well for 52 – began a procession of Middlesex batsmen who holed out in the deep.
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John Simpson (21) and James Franklin (40) were both caught at long-off as the innings faltered and it needed an undefeated 21 from Toby Roland-Jones to haul the home side to 295-8 from 50 overs.
Tom Helm struck early in the Hampshire reply, bowling Joe Weatherley (2) – but the heavens opened and a thunderstorm forced the teams off for the next two hours.
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When play resumed, the visitors faced a revised target of 202 from 26 overs and Jimmy Adams (26) added a swift 62 with Adam Wheater (41) before being caught on the boundary off Roland-Jones.
Wheater soon followed, stumped off Stirling to leave Hampshire in some difficulty at 80-3 – but Ervine and Liam Dawson settled into their stride with a free-scoring partnership of 89.
James Fuller eventually pierced Ervine’s defence for 45, yet it was too late to save Middlesex and, although Will Smith (5) perished to diving catch by Fuller, Dawson, who finished unbeaten with 68 from 40 balls, saw his side home.