Middlesex fail to be anywhere other than top of the table

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Photo by Sarah Ansell

Time for a County Championship update. The crucial piece of information is that Middlesex are now top.

If Sussex defied their top order runlessness to take an early lead, Middlesex have for the most part adopted a different approach. Their strategy seems to involve spending quite a lot of time trying to lose games before finally getting everything together when it really matters.

Against Nottinghamshire, they conceded a hundred run first innings deficit, allowed their opponents to make 400 in the second innings and then calmly batted out a draw.

Against Somerset, they again conceded a hundred run first innings deficit, but ultimately chased down the frankly ludicrous target of 402 to win. Adam Voges made a daddy hundred, getting himself in form on the offchance that the Aussies might require him for England-beating purposes at some point this summer.

The batting remained strong in the next match against Durham, where Middlesex made 463. After attaining an unassailable 170 run lead after the first innings, they promptly assisted their opponents by assailing themselves through being bowled out for 89 with their number 11, Tim Murtagh, the top scorer. Then, with incompetence well and truly purged from their system, they required all of two bowlers to bowl out Durham for 71. Steven Finn was not the pick of the bowlers with his one wicket.

But maybe it’s catching, because this week’s performance was decidedly Sussexy. At one point 76-4 in the first innings and then sinking to 103-6 in the second they never really made a decent total but still won comfortably. Their opponents were, somewhat inevitably, Sussex, who basically just out-Sussexed them, as you’d imagine they should.

In amongst all of this, James Harris has taken an awful lot of wickets.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Apart from watching cricket on tv as a kid. My first experiencesof cricket was watching middlesex pplat in Uxbridge. Had phil Tufnell sign a scrap of paper once. Aswell as others like emburey hatting and ramprakash. I also saw kumble play for Northants. P

  2. I was ranting to a friend during their top-order batting collapse in the first innings about how awful we’ve been this season. Like everyone else here in Canada, he knows nothing about cricket so he asked me how they were doing this year. They’re in first place, I said with a pained expression.

  3. I *must* remember to tell him that we were terrible again, and won. He’ll get a kick out of it.

  4. Indeed it has not been easy to be a Middlesex fan this season so far. Have pity on your humble appellant out here in the wilds of West Corkshire trying to follow the Sussex v Middlesex match with intermittent wifi. I feel a slightly different match report coming on.

  5. This is the wrong place but Struass should get rid of the rest of the batsmen who have a worse batting average than he managed in Tests, Ali doesn’t count cos he bowls a bit

  6. The Middle are playing with a new spirit and confidence inspired by new skipper Adam Voges, who now sadly departs for the time being, but who hopefully returns for the championship run-in in september.Jimmy Harris has been a relevation, whilst Compo looks most impressive.Robbo’s welcome return to form and the highly talented new boy Gubbo are developing into a fine opening partnership, whilst all others continue to contribute.Ignore the nay sayers who tipped us for the drop, this side is championship material, especially when the prolific Joe Burns arrives this week and Mala and Murts return from injury.

    1. Burns prolific?

      He was shite for Leics. Even by Leics standards. So he’ll probably score bucketloads for you.

    2. Compo, Robbo, Gubbo, Mala, Murts? Who are all these people?

      Is this about Last of the Summer Wine?

  7. They all play for THE MIGHTY MIDDLE along with Harry, Franky, Dexy, Rojo, Simmo, Ollie, Stirlo, Burnsie, Pods, and Vogey.

    1. Voges is Australian; and, unlike Robbo, the wrong kind of Australian. He doesn’t get a chummy public-school nickname. In fact, he’s lucky if he’s referred to as “That guy over there wot’s in the runs, can’t remember his name, yeah he’s alright.”

      Also TRJ is Toblerone.

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