Essex v Middlesex (CB40)
Highlights video below
Finn for Collins, Scollay again for Tom Smith
The last broadcast Middlesex match of the season... my sad good bye to the Pinky Peeps... in the truest sense of the word.
I just wished it to be over, even though Middlesex were bowling last and Finny had a good game. It was simply awful. Just look at the scorecard, had it not been for brave Neil Dexter again Middle would have hardly made it past 130. Considering that they had decided to bat first the first innings went horribly wrong. Everybody moaned about the lack of application, and while Essex needed to win the match, Middlesex just turned up to somehow be physically present for 80 overs. Newman ran himself out refusing to dive if I remember correctly. Dang there he was again, the old Newman (what a nice oxymoron).
Finn bowled exceptionally well, took two at 3.87, would look even better if he hadn't got booted in the first over. The rest clearly bowled above that figure, Toby got belted a little more than Finn, but I don't care because he is sacrosanct and also had the second best economy, took 1 at 5.12, skipper Dexter was the third one below 6, the rest ah well. But you see this is not coincidental, Dexter oozes allrounder class time and time again, Toby has huge potential and Finn is just the pro in the ring.
Scollay was atrocious. Should have given Josh Davey another go.
I want to forget about this match. Crappiest last TV-ed game possible.
The peripheral aspects of this game are much more interesting, albeit not any less agonising. After dying a thousand utmost painful deaths over the news that Owais Shah will not be afforded by Middlesex anymore in the next season, a fact of which he got informed by a journalist (!), I got hopeful again over Dimitri Mascarenha's interest in Owais' qualities. Owais at Hamps sounds good, doesn't it? But it were Essex who opened their doors and wallets, and offered Owy a new home. So, ironically, he was playing a match against his future employers only shortly after he had signed with them. The grapevine murmured that neither Middlesex nor Owais had wanted this separation, but he had simply become too pricey for them.
The reasoning behind his abandonment becomes clear if you take into account that Eoin Morgan, against all expectations, has renewed his contract with Middlesex, and he won't have done that for an apple and and egg. I am fairly happy about that, but from the viewpoint of practicability I would have rather invested the money in Owais, as he would definitely have been there for Middlesex most of the season except for the IPL. However, Middle were sure eyeing the big name, and I agree that under these circumstances it is sure more preferable to stick with Morgan than signing KP.
The contract with Derby's Chris Rogers is in the bag and we will hopefully see some batting-wise improvement. The two big question marks left have the names of Dawid Malan and Pedro Collins on them, the former being rumoured to leave Middlesex on his quest for greater glory, and Pedro losing his Kolpak status and most likely not being important enough to get re-signed as an overseas player.
Wanted to say something else but it has slipped my mind now, so it was probably not important.
And just in case you haven't noticed:
Hampshire tragically lost their CC match v Lanks 2 balls before stumps.
Jimmy Adams has entered the pantheon of cricketing demigods.
Read half-tracker's moving blog about match day 4.
Read more half-tracker in general.