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.