Natwest T20 Blast: Middlesex face crunch clash with Essex
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Middlesex host Essex at Lord’s on Thursday
Middlesex face a must-win game in the Natwest T20 Blast today when they host Essex at Lord’s.
Daniel Vettori’s men head into that clash propping up the South Group with just two wins from their first five games.
Time is running out for Middlesex to turn their fortunes around in the short format of the game, with just seven games to go in the group stages.
With that in mind, Middlesex can ill-afford any further slip-ups if they are to make the knockout stages of the competition.
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But Vettori says the squad also cannot afford to think to fine down the line, believing the clash with Essex has to be their priority first and foremost.
“Unfortunately I’ve been in this situation a few times, both as a player and as a coach, but it gives you that ability to say that only one game matters,” Vettori told BBC Radio London.
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“You can sit there and say we need five wins from seven, or whatever it is, but we’ll take that next game on.
“That’ll be the start for us and hopefully we can continue on from most of the performance we put in at Somerset.”
Middlesex head into the clash off the back of a five-wicket defeat away to Somerset, despite a brilliant 59 from Eoin Morgan.
The defeat was a fourth loss in their last five T20 games for Middlesex, but Vettori was keen to draw on the positives.
“It was a fantastic batting performance, the ways the guys showed that intent after being put in, particularly the partnership between Morgan and John Simpson, that allowed us to put on a score that was defendable,” he added.
“I was really impressed; where we’ve been as a batting group over the past few games, we probably haven’t done ourselves justice, but at Somerset and led by Morgs, it was an exceptional display.
“With the bowling, we probably had six or seven balls off. There were some misfields and little things that didn’t go our way, and all that culminates in a loss, but that’s T20 cricket.
“Sometimes you overthink it all, but it’s six or seven balls that you made mistakes on and the game is taken away from you, which is why you lose games.”
Vettori will hope Middlesex can avoid any ‘off balls’ in their crunch clash with Essex.