(match post delayed because of Pakistan betting scandal, apologies)
Derbyshire v Middlesex
The season is obviously fizzling out, instead of itching to get the post out I feel more like ahh blahh drawwww...
Although, one has to admit, the match had its moments. Middle looked a lot better than in the humiliating CB40 defeat they suffered against Derby a few days ago.
Newman shone with yet another well-composed ton, the old skipper grabbed 7 wickets and Pedro Collins and Toby 4 each, Dex was 92* before he declared :) Owais Shah fielded like his life was depending on it, and Chris Rogers, the man on the Middle radar, made 75 and 96.
Middle nearly managed to force Derby down to their knees; on the last day 5 wickets had fallen in the space of 20 minutes and there was one hour of play left, but Derby stopped the collapse, dug themselves in, and the umpires declared the match drawn. The thing that impressed me most were Shaun Udal's 7 wickets but it's also great to see Dexter and Roland-Jones keeping on blossoming.
The actual talk of the match circled around the future of the Middle stocks. IOB will not play any matches anymore this season, Pedro is sitting on packed suitcases as due to a lack of international cricket his Kolpak status runs out and Middle will probably not re-sign him as one of their two overseas players then. Malan hmm-hmm-hmm, Morgan departs, although the latter has more or less been replaced already due to his long ECB-induced absence. So basically there's gonna be a hole in the middle order and in the bowling. Well I've already expressed my views in terms of batting (Housego) but as Middle are eyeing Chris Rogers and there was also talk about maybe trying to get Phil Hughes back as an overseas player next season and so on and so on the Housego wagon has probably derailed... he also had a couple of unlucky fielding scenes in the match. The Pedro spot has been left completely unspeculated about yet, I'm sure we will get a few grapevines talking soon.
My current Middle ranking:
1) Dexter - a revelation
2) TRJ - I'm shamelessly riding the hypewagon, it's a good wagon!
3) Owais - the rock you can build on
So that's it for now,