Middlesex come out on top at Radlett

Somerset slipped to only their second defeat in this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup as Sam Robson recorded his maiden white-ball century to help Middlesex to a 118 run win at Radlett.

Robson, making his first appearance in the competition since he limped off with a hamstring injury against Hampshire almost exactly two years ago, top scored with 106 from as many balls.

He shared an opening partnership of 138 with Max Holden (45) and, supported by a knock of 90 from Nick Gubbins, set up Middlesex’s third-highest 50-over total of 364 for six after they had been put in to bat.

Somerset, who won their first four South Group fixtures in the competition, were eventually bowled out for 246 in 43.4 overs.

It was Azhar Ali who finally made the breakthrough, with Holden driving the leg-spinner into the hands of Josh Davey at long on.

Robson reached his ton from 99 deliveries before eventually pulling the first ball of Craig Overton’s second spell to Roelof van der Merwe at mid-wicket.

Gubbins innings of 90 from 59 balls came to an end when he swung van der Merwe into the hands of Lewis Gregory on the boundary.

Middlesex maintained their momentum during the later overs, with John Simpson (32) and Steven Eskinazi (30) adding 60 before George Scott and Toby Roland-Jones hauled them beyond 350.

Gregory was the pick of the bowlers, claiming two for 71.

The home side made early inroads when Somerset replied, with Tom Banton (3) and Peter Trego (12) back in the pavilion before the end of the powerplay.

James Hildreth threatened to make a significant impact, hitting 18 from 19 balls before he played on to James Harris, while Tom Abell (8) was unlucky to be run out at the non-striker’s end when Scott deflected Ali’s drive onto the stumps.

Sowter (3-50) struck with his second delivery to dismiss George Bartlett (17) before Ali – who had batted tidily for 46 – was caught behind.

Van der Merwe made an eye-catching 38 and, although Tim Groenewald (28) and Davey (23*) delayed Middlesex with a last-wicket stand of exactly 50, Roland-Jones wrapped up victory when the former scooped him to mid-wicket.

After the match, Director of Cricket Andy Hurry said: “We weren’t at our best with the bat, the ball or in the field, which is hugely disappointing because until the game against Gloucestershire, we’ve demonstrated what we can deliver. It’s the simple things we need to get back to.

“It’s actually quite difficult to defend at this ground and that was the reason we for us looking to have a bowl first. When we were at our best earlier in the competition we were consistently executing our skills and we’ve just gone away from that a little bit.

“We need to get back to that, focusing on putting the opposition under pressure. The lower order demonstrated that really well and it was a bit frustrating to have a couple of soft dismissals in the top order.

“We’re still in this competition, we’re right in the mix and there’s a lot to play for. We’ve got a bit of time now to get back on the horse.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground