Middlesex’s 2018 Vitality Blast campaign kicks off tomorrow evening with a huge London derby against Surrey. The visitors will make the short journey across the Thames for a thrilling T20 campaign opener which will be played out in front of a sell-out crowd in St. John’s Wood.
Middlesex will be looking for a repeat of the brilliant victory they secured over their London rivals at the Home of Cricket last year, when under huge pressure Steven Finn crashed a ball from Ravi Rampaul through the leg side to take Middlesex to victory in the penultimate over.
Daniel Vettori has returned as Middlesex’s T20 Coach again for the Vitality Blast this year and joined up with the squad at the start of this week ahead of the campaign kicking off – joining him from afar will be the club’s two overseas signings for this year’s campaign; Dwayne Bravo and Ashton Agar.
The club announced yesterday however that Agar’s arrival has been delayed, due to his international commitments with Australia – opening the door for his fellow countryman Hilton Cartwright to extend his stay with the club until mid-July to feature in the early stages of Middlesex’s Vitality Blast campaign.
Bravo joined up with the squad today and has been named alongside Cartwright as the club’s two nominated overseas players, whilst Middlesex are boosted by the return of Captain Dawid Malan, who carried the drinks for England yesterday at old Trafford, but has returned to Lord’s for Thursday night’s opener, before then returning to join up with the England squad in time for Friday’s second T20I.
Middlesex will be sadly without paceman Steven Finn, who is recovering from bruising to the knee, although the seam ranks are strengthened by the welcome return of James Fuller, who is back in the fold and fully fit, after a nightmare eighteen-months on the side lines.
Vettori has given himself plenty of spin options on Thursday, with Nathan Sowter and Ravi Patel named in the squad as the frontline turners, whilst Paul Stirling and skipper Malan can offer plenty of spin support if required.
The addition of Bravo gives the Middlesex side a nice balanced look to it and with him and Cartwright in the middle of the pack there’s real quality all-round depth to the side with plenty of options for Malan to call upon with the ball.
James Harris has recovered from the side strain he picked up against Kent in the club’s last Championship encounter and is also included in the squad to offer Malan and Vettori more penetration with the ball.
Middlesex have named the following thirteen-man squad…
Surrey have named the following thirteen-man squad…
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