Steve Finn inspires dramatic Middlesex win over Glamorgan
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Middlesex earn vital Royan London Cup success against Welsh rivals in Radlett
England’s Steve Finn produced a high-class display of fast bowling at Radlett to maintain Middlesex’s slim hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the Royal London Cup.
The rangy pace bowler took 4-39, including a decisive spell of three-wickets in nine balls that proved pivotal in a tight contest with Glamorgan.
Set 244 to win after Middlesex were bowled out eight balls shy of their 50 overs, the Welsh outfit looked well on course for victory at 104-1.
Then Finn intervened and though all-rounder Colin Ingram followed up an earlier four-wicket bowling haul with a run-a-ball 50, Glamorgan fell 16 runs short.
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The bucolic surroundings of this surprisingly rural venue belied the brutal nature of the contest.
The match was in effect an eliminator: whoever lost would have very little chance of progressing to the knock-out stages of the Royal London Cup.
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Between them, these two sides had won three matches in ten attempts in the competition and at times the subsequent lack of confidence showed.
But there were also class performances, none more than those by Finn and Ingram, who took 4-39 with his leg-breaks.
Despite missing Eoin Morgan and Paul Stirling, Middlesex would have been disappointed, on a small ground, with a lightning-fast outfield, under sunny skies, not to have reached 250. That was mainly due to Ingram’s personal best in the format.
More positively for Middlesex, their innings featured a welcome return to form from Dawid Malan, who scored his first half-century against a rival county in his ten innings this season.
Malan made exactly 50, in 56 balls, before being bowled trying to cut Ingram. Malan and Adam Voges (40) added 70 in 12 overs after Middlesex had lost Nick Gubbins and Nick Compton cheaply.
But Malan’s dismissal, followed by a trio of lbw’s gained by Ingram, undermined the innings. With the hosts in danger of not using all their overs, James Franklin played a careful captain’s knock to rebuild the innings.
He received good support from Toby Roland-Jones (22) and Tom Helm (25 - his highest List A score).
Glamorgan set off brightly, posting 53 before losing skipper Jacques Rudolph, caught at slip off Finn.
David Lloyd and Will Bragg added a further 51, but just as it seemed the visitors would stroll to victory Finn took three for none in nine balls.
With Toby Roland-Jones chipping in suddenly Glamorgan were 109-5. Ingram and Chris Cooke dug in.
They were two of five South Africans in the visiting side, complementing four Welshmen and two Australians.
The pair had added 65 when Tom Helm bowled Cooke and followed up with the wicket of Marchant Meschede two balls later.
As long as Ingram was there Glamorgan had hope, but when he skied Helm to mid-wicket there were still 24 runs to go and one wicket left.
Ryan Higgins took that to finish with 3-32 and keep Middlesex in the competition.