Nothing new? Yeah. But still annoying, although I'm already over it.
Middlesex v Northamptonshire (CB40)
Alright I have to say that this was my maiden Toby viewing and, whatever may have happened, he's cool. Good news for Middlesex that he has signed a new 3-year-deal, much happiness at my end of the things about this decision. A rather crap decision was it of skipper Dexter to field first... especially given how Glamorgan got knocked across the park last night.
The line-up: SA Newman, JA Simpson†, OA Shah, DJ Malan, NJ Dexter*, GK Berg, TE Scollay, SD Udal, TS Roland-Jones, TJ Murtagh, PT Collins
No big surprises, but I was wondering a bit about Tom Scollay's inclusion, but as the boundaries had reportedly come in I thought that he would have been selected for his offspin. However, Dexter persisted with the five standard bowlers, out of which especially Pedro protruded as atrocious; Toby got belted as well, but bit himself through to better figures and took a key wicket; Dexter had so-so figures and Udal was awesome (given how the Northants batters beat the crap out of the bowlers).
Murtagh was sooo the man, but who am I telling it. Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with the Murtle cult. More rays of light were provided by the eternally awesome Gareth Berg, an absolutely genial piece of fielding brought the run-out of Mal Loye, and later on he took a catch that stopped my heart from beating and gave me these annoying teary eyes again. But that was about everything mentionable about the first innings... Malan partly fielded as if he had already signed with Northants. Damn, I am smelling a traitor behind every bush now.
The batting was simply horrendous. If you are chasing 265 then you have to pull the pants up and make a fist of it. Simpson did so, 48 was the reward, alas not a matchwinning knock. I am happy though that he scored decently, he has not exactly been haunted by fortune in the past months. Newman, Shah (!) and Malan failed, which fuels my Malan suspicions uttered earlier, and Shah with 4 off 32 probably robbed the team of all winning chances.
The middle and lower order tried to repair the damage and knock off the runs, some moving attempts here by Berg, Scollay, Udal and Toby Roland-Jones (20*), who all got to 20-odd, but that was nowhere near enough to even get a sniff. Dexter was my actual hope, as I really like him as a batsman, but he went out for 20-odd as well.
You have to give credit to the Notts bowlers, they had not forgotten their ropes at home, they put them around the Middlebatters' necks and pulled them tight delightfully. None of them went for more than 6 per over and they took regular wickets. Willey, the poor man's Bracken, by who Notts tried to turn me around (try harder, guys), also earned a ribbon for a good catch at the boundary, but that's just one example of Notts' good efforts in the field.
However, that was nothing. Nonetheless I am glad about the opportunity to watch the match, it sweetened the drubbing quite a bit, and there were a few single performances that made me smile all around the head. :)
Cheerio, cheerio, I am off to happier shores,