The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

Mid­dle­sex would have hoped to mark their first match back at Lord’s since last Septem­ber’s Cham­pi­onship cel­e­bra­tions with a win. There will be de­bate as to whether they were too cau­tious in their tac­tics and whether that ul­ti­mately cost them a de­served vic­tory in a match they dom­i­nated from day one.

Yet though frus­trated with the ultimate re­sult, they re­main happy that the de­ci­sions they took were for the right rea­sons. And they have ev­ery right to point to the many en­cour­ag­ing signs over the course of this sea­son.

After a tough first match at Hamp­shire, all the play­ers have slot­ted back into the roles they per­formed so well last year. Five of the top six have made size­able con­tri­bu­tions with the bat al­ready and the bowlers have found their groove With Nick Comp­ton wait­ing in the wings after re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury, Mid­dle­sex’s strength in depth is the envy of much of the first di­vi­sion.

They will face tougher op­po­si­tion, but this plucky Es­sex side man­aged to hold on for a draw and go back to Chelms­ford with eight points. They had lit­tle an­swer though when Mid­dle­sex piled up the runs, fail­ing to make the most of the over­cast con­di­tions in the first half of the game.

The mini break for the One-Day Cup comes at pos­si­bly the wrong time for Mid­dle­sex who would have wanted to build on this mo­men­tum.

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