Middlesex win despite ten Doeschate century
Middlesex 200 for 6 beat Essex 195 for 8 by five runs
Middlesex beat Essex by five runs in a thrilling Friends Provident t20 match at Lord's to record their second win of the season in the competition.
The Panthers had posted a substantial total of 200 for 6 from their allotted overs, with captain-elect Neil Dexter top-scoring with 43, but their opponents produced a brave attempt in the pursuit thanks to a stunning effort from Ryan ten Doeschate.
The Dutch all-rounder scored 102 from 54 deliveries, clearing the ropes on seven occasions and also adding five fours to keep his side in the hunt. When he eventually holed out to Eoin Morgan at cover off the bowling of Pedro Collins, the Eagles required a further 23 runs. But the initiative had been regained by the home side with the wicket and when the final over commenced, 15 runs were needed.
However Tim Murtagh held his nerve, removing Tim Phillips with his first delivery and although Danish Kaneria plundered a six off the next ball, the following two deliveries yielded just one run before Kaneria was run out to ensure the Middlesex victory.
At the halfway stage of their reply, Essex had reached 91 for 2 but the arrival of Ten Doeschate set the game alight only for his efforts to prove in vain as the Eagles finished on 195 for eight and their third defeat in four matches. Dexter had anchored the home side's innings after Australian opening pair Adam Gilchrist, and David Warner had launched the innings with 21 in 16 balls before New Zealand international Scott Styris claimed both scalps. Gilchrist hit 13 and his partner 25 from 15 balls, with two sixes.
Owais Shah chipped in with 35 and Gareth Berg hit an unbeaten 24 but the visitors were left to rue sending down 18 wides to give their opponents extra deliveries and runs that were to prove so crucial in the final outcome. Both teams were playing under newly-installed captains for this competition and it was Middlesex skipper Gilchrist, who is doing the job on a short-term basis before passing over to Dexter, who finished with bragging rights over his opposite number James Foster.
As a result. the Panthers leapfrogged their opponents in the league table after both teams had started the game at the wrong end of the South Division table with only Surrey beneath them.