Middlesex open account with win at Hampshire
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Gubbins and Roland-Jones impress in Royal London One-Day Cup
Nick Gubbins’ classy century and Toby Roland-Jones’ breathtaking opening spell handed Middlesex an 89-run victory over Hampshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Gubbins fluently made 114, his third List A ton, to help the visitors reach 295 from their 50 overs, before their hosts finished well short of the Duckworth Lewis total.
Roland-Jones took 4-10 to hand Middlesex their first win of the competition and give them renewed hopes of quarter-final qualification.
Given 295 to chase, Hampshire began their innings in horrific style as Roland-Jones used his incredible skills to knock over the home side’s top order.
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Michael Carberry clubbed a pair of boundaries before he chipped an upper-cut down the throat of Tom Helm at third man.
James Vince’s lashed behind outside off-stump, before Tom Alsop failed to guide a short ball to third man – instead he edged to Adam Voges at first slip.
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England man Liam Dawson was the next to fall victim to Roland-Jones when he inside-edge behind while attempting a pull.
That left Hampshire on 34-4 and last year’s Wisden Cricketer of the Year with sublime figures of 4-9.
George Bailey and Sean Ervine produced a counter-attacking 70-run stand in quick-time but Zimbabwean Ervine flicked to the square-leg boundary for 33.
Lewis McManus was next to fall when Ryan Higgins bowled him, and Gareth Berg squirted to Tom Helm at long-on.
Rain brought play to an end, with 20 overs to play, with Bailey unbeaten on a superb 52 – leaving Hampshire with just a win from their opening three one-day matches.
Earlier after being put in on a grubby track, Gubbins gave Middlesex a solid base thanks to 47 and 133-runs stands with Dawid Malan and Adam Voges.
Brilliant spin bowling by Dawson and Mason Crane curtailed Middlesex’s middle overs with the former stopping the runs and the talented leg-spinner grabbed three wickets.
But it was left-arm quick Reece Topley who boasted the best figures as he ended with figures of 4-68 after a tail-end blitz.
Malan was the first man to go after a settling opening, before he chased a delivery down his leg side to tickle off his glove behind off Berg.
Sam Robson only lasted seven balls before he pulled his hamstring while attempting a run to retire hurt – but Voges entered to continue the good start.
Gubbins moved past a 57-ball fifty – with the score on 172-1 at the end of the 30th over to give Middlesex the perfect platform.
But the last 20 overs proved trickier, as Voges departed for 44 when he top edged Crane to Bailey at mid-wicket.
Gubbins completed a flawless 104-ball century but failed to kick-on and accelerate, as he was bowled by a Topley yorker.
John Simpson copied Voges when he tried a reverse sweep and then Ryan Higgins’s leading edge was well snaffled at cover by Berg – both to the impressive Crane.
Roland-Jones picked out Alsop before captain James Franklin planted a lofted cut to Topley on the third-man boundary.
James Fuller, Tom Helm and the returning Robson all slogged to their demise as Middlesex only managed 121 in the final 20 overs – but it proved plenty when the drizzle arrived.
Roland-Jones said: “It is always nice to get wickets up top and a few went my way. I felt good running in and found a nice bit of rhythm.
“The lads set it up well. I though Gubbo played a classy innings up top, he seemed to time it really nicely.
“He set us up for a score which we should have kicked a little bit more and aimed for the 320 mark.
“I think the win was the only thing missing from out one-day cricket.
“We had played well in patches but hadn’t managed to get over the line whether it was the weather or losing key battles in the game.
“We have strung more together and won the game.”