Opening Up: Middlesex cricket column with Nick Gubbins
- Credit: Archant
If anyone asked you for a blueprint of how to play four-day cricket, I think you’d show them a recording of our game against Durham.
OK, technically it was a three-day game – but all the ingredients were there: bowl the opposition out pretty cheaply, put together partnerships when you bat and, once you’ve got your foot on their throat, press home the advantage.
The flip side is that, when you’re up against it, you need to show the character to get out of trouble and that was something we displayed in the previous game against Surrey.
The Durham performance was one of those that stands out and makes the rest of the league take notice. Our message is that, with four games to go, we’re pretty serious contenders.
We spoke a lot in the changing-room beforehand about the importance of partnerships and Compo and myself managed to build a big one against a relentless Durham bowling attack.
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I was over the moon for Compo when he reached his ton. It’s no secret that he hasn’t had the easiest time of late, but I have a lot to thank him for with the help and advice he’s given me this season.
He’s helped me a lot in terms of developing a game plan – how to bat for long periods and what you’re going to do against particular bowlers – so it was great to be out there with him.
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Someone mentioned when we went in at tea on the second day that I was only a few away from becoming the first batsman in the division to reach 1,000 runs for the season – not something I’d really thought about.
Unfortunately soon after tea I got a good one from Mark Wood and it wasn’t to be, but the main thing is that I’d helped the team get into a strong position.
Ollie Rayner bowled wonderfully well to back up the seam attack. He’s a great guy to have in the side, as well as probably the best slip fielder in the country, and he’s going to be massively important as the pitches get drier.
Podders bowled a great spell too – once again people stuck their hands up and performed. We’ve got players coming back now, like Sam Robson and Adam Voges, and we’re going to need the squad for the massive run of games we’ve got coming up.
There haven’t been too many breaks for us this season, so it’ll be nice to get some time off now, rest and prepare for the run-in.