Home cricket Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Leics Group 2 2021

Recent Match Report – Middlesex vs Leics Group 2 2021

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John Simpson finds late support to rescue another top-order wobble

Middlesex 260 for 7 (Simpson 73*) vs Leicestershire

Middlesex feel they would have doubled their wins tally for the season but for the badly-timed arrival of rain at The Kia Oval last week and arrived here with a sense of relative optimism after another season in which that mood has been experienced only intermittently.

Moreover, against the only team in Group Two with a worse record than theirs, they have at least given themselves a chance of securing the second win that eluded them last week, following a fightback from 132 for 6 in the final session.

Increasingly frustrated with senior players unable to summon consistent form, Middlesex’s selection policy is shifting towards giving younger players their head. With the 39-year-old Tim Murtagh rested, the average age of their bowling attack here drops dramatically to 23.

Youngest among them is the leg-spinning all-rounder Luke Hollman, who will not be 21 until mid-September. He and the 22-year-old left-armer Thilan Walallawita, with eight first-class appearances between them, have been backed to exploit what promises to be a turning pitch, which is a fair vote of confidence from head coach Stuart Law.
In the meantime, Hollman has already made an impression with the bat. Playing in only his third first-class match, he batted almost two hours for his 32 – his highest red-ball score so far – and his support for John Simpson rescued a day that had threatened to leave Leicestershire in firm control. Tall, strongly built and, as he has already demonstrated in T20 cricket, a powerful hitter, this showed that he can also keep an end up with a high degree of competence.

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