Steady Line: Middlesex cricket column with Toby Roland-Jones

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones - Credit: Archant

It’s always great to see two young guys come together in a partnership like Nick Gubbins and Steve Eskinazi did this week against Lancashire.

The praise they received was richly deserved for both of them. For Nick, it was great to see the way he went on to 200, really taking charge and leading our innings forward.

Batsmen often feel they’re judged on their hundreds and actually having the skill and application to take it further shows not only a great deal of talent but also that determination to strive for more.

When you’ve got a squad that’s strong and competitive, opportunities don’t come around that often and when they do you have to do grab them. Sometimes guys can come into the team under pressure.

But that’s not the case with Eski, who’s worked so hard to get into the first team. He really found his stride early in the innings and batted with a good tempo.


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Getting your maiden first-class hundred is a really special moment in anyone’s career and it’s good to see guys putting their hands up.

A tip of the cap to Ollie Rayner as well for the way he bowled with a couple of the Lancashire guys looking to take him on. But for that, the innings could have got away from us a bit.

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If we’re being honest, there was a bit of frustration at the fact that the Lord’s wicket was so dead, but we have plenty of positives to take into our next County Championship game against Yorkshire at Scarborough.

Scarborough’s always got a unique atmosphere and last time we played there we lost, so that smarted a bit. We’re in decent form, but top gear’s still to be hit – and, if we can find it there, we’ll have set ourselves up well.

It’s a great feeling to have put in two good Twenty20 performances – the importance of stringing together two or more results is shown by the effect it’s had on the table.

Nine overs-a-side isn’t ideal – I don’t think you’ll get many fast bowlers agreeing with that as a format! But I thought the game against Somerset summed up a lot of the stuff we’ve fallen short on in years gone by.

The toss went against us and fielding second is pretty tough, but the way we managed to defend our total and then defend another against Kent puts us in very good spirits going down to Hove for our next game on Friday.

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