Middlesex slump to loss at Surrey
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Royal London One-Day Cup derby ends in defeat
Middlesex are facing an uphill struggle to progress in the Royal London One-Day Cup after losing to Surrey at the Oval.
An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 117 in 19 overs between Rory Burns and Ben Foakes saw the hosts to victory and left Middlesex with just one win from their first four matches in the competition.
Surrey were chasing a slightly under-par Middlesex total of 243-9, but the visitors made the urgent breakthrough they needed when Toby Roland-Jones bowled Mark Stoneman for ten in the fifth over.
The home side responded well, as Scott Borthwick flicked Tom Helm over square-leg for six and Kumar Sangakkara got into his stride when he hit Helm for successive fours, on-driving and then lofting over mid-on.
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This pair put Surrey firmly in control with a second wicket partnership of 91, but Borthwick then chipped Dawid Malan to long-off and Sangakkara, who had been untroubled throughout his innings, suddenly drove Malan straight to cover for a 68-ball 59 to leave the game in the balance at 127-3. But then Burns and Foakes took charge.
When Middlesex batted they only looked capable of a formidable total when first Nick Gubbins and then John Simpson were at the wicket, but neither survived to play the much needed major innings.
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They were already depleted without their England and Ireland representatives, and then they decided to play Nick Compton ahead of the impressively in form Stevie Eskinazi.
Tom Curran broke through for Surrey with the last ball of the ninth over when Malan pulled to Stoneman at deep square-leg for just 14.
That brought Compton to the wicket but the former England batsman’s innings lasted just five deliveries as he was caught behind nibbling outside his off stump to leave Middlesex 42-2 after 10 overs.
Gubbins kept swashbuckling away at one end but at the other Adam Voges soon perished when he was caught down the leg-side for nine.
Middlesex needed Gubbins to go on and make the big score and he looked well capable of it until he swiped Ravi Rampaul to Stuart Meaker for an 86-ball 65.
Simpson then took responsibility for the Middlesex innings, although He was almost caught at long leg when he had made 51.
But the missed half-chance didn’t cost Surrey too dearly because he was lbw to Gareth Batty for 75, attempting to shovel the ball to leg.
Batty’s 10 overs cost just 38 runs and Rampaul took 4-40, while after Gubbins and Simpson the highest Middlesex scorer was James Franklin, with 35, and they needed ten wides from the Surrey bowlers to get as many as they did.
They travel on Sunday to Canterbury to take on Kent, beaten by six wickets by Sussex in a high-scoring contest of 669 runs in their latest outing.
Middlesex 243-9 (Gubbins 65, Malan 14, Compton 0, Voges 9, Simpson 75, Higgins 8, Franklin 35, Roland-Jones 6, Rayner 8, Fuller 4*, Helm 2*, extras 17; Curran 10-0-52-2, S Curran 9-0-48-1, Rampaul 10-0-40-4, Meaker 7-0-32-1, Borthwick 4-0-28-0, Batty 10-0-38-1)
Surrey 244-3 (Stoneman 10, Borthwick 45, Sangakkara 59, Burns 67*, Foakes 55*, extras 8; Roland-Jones 10-0-40-1, Helm 10-1-56-0, Fuller 8.2-0-47-0, Rayner 9-0-48-0, Malan 6-0-39-2, Higgins 2-0-10-0).