Finn fails to fire as Middlesex slump to defeat
Gloucestershire 188 for 4 beat Middlesex 185 for 8 by six wickets
Struggling Gloucestershire virtually ended Middlesex's hopes of reaching the Friends Provident t20 quarter-finals by beating them by six wickets with four balls to spare at Uxbridge.
The match saw Steven Finn return to the Middlesex team for the first time since he bowled England to victory in the second Test against Bangladesh at Old Trafford in June but he conceded 30 runs in two overs and was promptly withdrawn from the firing line.
Finn was struck for five fours and a six as William Porterfield and Aaron Redmond launched Gloucestershire's pursuit of a target of 186 with an opening partnership of 78 in seven overs. Neil Dexter, the Middlesex captain, stemmed the flow of runs by bowling Redmond and having Hamish Marshall caught behind in the space of seven balls.
Porterfield, who had hit 64 off 32 balls with three sixes and seven fours, was then unluckily run out when Franklin's drive was deflected into the stumps at the bowler's end but Franklin and Chris Taylor regained the initiative with a fourth wicket stand of 61 in six overs.
Middlesex, beaten by Hampshire on the same club ground the day before, owed their total to Dawid Malan's 86 off 44 balls, including six sixes and five fours, after they had made another poor start, losing David Warner and Jackson Thompson inside the first four overs.
Warner, the Australia Twenty20 specialist, who has made only 188 runs in 11 innings for Middlesex, was caught and bowled by Steve Kirby for one and Thompson, an India-born left-hander who once played for Gloucestershire, was caught at extra cover off Anthony Ireland for 14.
Owais Shah gave the innings some momentum, following his 80 against Hampshire with 27 off 19 balls including a six and four fours before he was brilliantly caught on the midwicket boundary by Gemaal Hussain off Richard Dawson, and then Neil Dexter joined Malan in a fourth wicket partnership of 85 in eight overs.
Dexter had struck 38 off 30 balls with two sixes and two fours when he was well caught by Porterfield, leaping high in front of the sightscreen, off Kirby and Middlesex were on course for 200 until they failed to make the most of the closing overs.
Tyron Henderson was caught by Marshall running in from long on off Ireland and three wickets went down in the last over with Scott and Smith running themselves out and Malan bowled when making room to hit Kirby through the offside.