May 21 2013 Latest news:
Laurence Klein, London24’s Middlesex blogger
Friday, August 17, 2012
At the mid-season break for T20 we were looking at the Championship table, doing the maths and daring to think that it might actually be possible to be challenging for the title come the end of the season.
A few games into the second half of the season and we’re looking over our shoulder wondering if those counties below Middlesex could catch up, overtake and make relegation a possibility. And we owe this to a spectacular run of batting collapses since the break. If you can bear the pain, they’re worth looking at:
Against Notts at Uxbridge, things weren’t looking too good, and then the last five Middlesex wickets went for one run. 98 all out.
At Durham, in the first innings, the rather crucial 3rd, 4th and 5th wickets go for three runs. 185 all out.
And in the second innings, the first two went with nothing on the board, Middlesex struggled to 38-5, and then finished with the last three going for four runs. 102 all out.
Warwickshire at Uxbridge: despite a very nice 402 all out, the middle order evaporated with four wickets falling for five, going from 285-3 to 290-7.
At Hove, 56-2 to 65-6, that’s 9-4 in the first innings. 170 all out with the tenth wicket adding 30.
In the second innings, in the context of the above, 21-4 in the middle of the innings almost constitutes some robust batting. 211 all out.
As I write, Middlesex look like they’re going to throw away a good position at the Oval, where a large first innings lead looked certain when Middlesex were 98-0 replying to Surrey’s 144. But then six wickets fell for 24 and it needed a last wicket partnership of 44 to get Middlesex to 232 all out.
And this is against the rumour that the only Middlesex man who seems able to lay bat on ball, Chris Rogers, has been linked with Surrey for next season. If he goes - and perhaps the captaincy full-time would encourage him not too - and despite Middlesex have a batting line-up that looks very good on paper, if the batsmen don’t start getting a few runs soon, Gus Fraser’s going to be out recruiting for 2013.