Middlesex v Worcestershire
Middlesex 392 & 66
Owais Shah scored a ton, refused to raise his bat to the pavilion and rightfully seized the chance to twist the knife twice and thrice in every Middle supporter's chest. Players come and go, nobody is irreplaceable, and yet it won't stop hurting. Cherry on top of the cream: he lbwed Solanki for 2. Give it to us Owais, give it to us. The ingrate folk don't deserve any better. I've followed him at Middle just for this one season and rate him as one of the top three players, while long time Middle supporters have been moaning about his mediocre performance. I am wondering what invaluable asset he must have been in the years before? There is a lot of reasoning going on, but the parallels to another drastic and downright stupid decision earlier this year, the Redbacks-Cosgrove split, are obvious. Farewell Owy, and should you remain in Div. 2 don't hesitate to belt the life out of the Middle bowlers wherever you meet them.
Toby Roland-Jones grabbed a combined 9-134 (that's 14.9 apiece, in case you haven't noticed) and thusly finished the season with an outrageous performance. I hope he's gonna be a spearhead of the Middlesex attack next year, they have secured themselves another whole three years of Toby goodness, won't complain about that, been a shameless TRJ bandwagoner in the past weeks, albeit not the only one, and have enjoyed it a lot to see him get better and better.
The match was winnable, but Middle decided to gift their supporters with one of the most beautiful batting collapses of the entire season and thereby to go down in shame. Ah well. Next year = new year. It is amazing how attached I became to the club after just a few weeks, there lies so much potential in this periodically magical conglomerate of players, alas on way too few occasions they managed to unleash it.
|Owais Shah's farewell ton gave Middlesex a taste of what they are going to miss|
Walking blade of the match:
Shakib Al Hasan, 7-32. He basically got Middlesex all out for 66 in the 4th innings. He is to blame for the mindboggling implosion, the humiliating end to the Middle season. Stunning career-best figures for our favourite Bangladeshi captain of the hearts, by which he single-handedly managed to keep Worcs in the contention for ascension to Div. 1. Take a bow.
|An all too familiar feeling for Toby Roland-Jones:|
Blackouts in the field have cost him at least 50 wickets
this season; just imagine what his tally could be!
Quote of the match:
Dave Townsend when Pedro Collins couldn't hold on to a chance off Toby Roland-Jones which went over his head for four: "Lept like a salmon that had been in a tin for 6 months!" Goat-like laughter shook the comms box, only to erupt into eardeafening roar when exactly the same incident recurred only a minute later and Dexter subsequently replaced Pedro with Scott Newman of all people!
Emo-ment of the match:
Pedro, who has most likely played his last match for Middlesex, received his county cap. That was about bloody time; apart from his comical fielding he has contributed plenty of wickets to the Middlesex figures and has been a reliable partner to Murtle. Judging from the way people talk about him he seems to be a wonderful bloke to have around, and we can only hope that he gets a bit of international cricket under the belt for the Windies, so that he can return as a Kolpak player next year.
Newman of the match:
|Tireless, reliable, indefatigable: Neil Dexter|
Skipper-that-leads-from-the-front of the match:
Neil Dexter. 97 in the first innings, counts as a ton in my book, and another 3 wickets to his impressive total. The man is a cricket machine, an allrounder of remarkable format. Should Middle only toy with the idea of stripping him of the leadership again and exchanging him for someone whose performance will inevitably suffer from the captaincy then they don't deserve him, as simple as that. Neil is going to lead Middle into a new spring, I am convinced.
So that's obviously my last Middlesex match post this year... can't deny that I'm depressed and currently living in complete end-of season-denial, will of course watch out for any news on the contract front (Malan and acquisitions) but until the new season starts it's gonna be international cricket on the blog.
Wondering if separation anxiety is the most common disorder among county cricket followers,