Jun 26 2011 By Jon Batham
TWENTY/20 CUP Gloucestershire 254-3 Middlesex 149-7 Middlesex lost by 105 runs
ANGUS Fraser was left as red-faced as Middlesex produced a shameful performance against Gloucestershire at Uxbridge.
The Gladiators racked up every batting record in the domestic T20 book as the Panthers meekly surrendered in this battle of the South table whipping boys.
Kevin O’Brien (119) and Hamish Marshall (102) set a record for any partnership by any side as Gladiators thrashed 192 for the first wicket en route to a score of 254-3, which beat the previous highest of 250-3 by Somerset against the Gloucester in 2006.
However, Middlesex produced buffet bowling accompanied by fielding and catching which would not have been out of place in the silent comedies of Charlie Chaplin and the like.
Four catches were dropped and John Simpson missed a routine stumping.It left Fraser admitting there was nowhere to hide.
He said: “I’m pretty fed up – it wasn’t a very good performance was it to conceded 250 runs.
“I think the players were interested it is just when the ball is disappearing out of the park you don’t walk around with a smile on your face.
“O’Brien struck the ball beautifully but you can’t give people chances at the start of their innings because if you do you pay the penalty.
“We didn’t bowl the ball in the same place twice. It has been a problem for quite a bit of this tournament. The bowlers are practising it but they are not getting their death bowling or Yorkers or varieties right.”
Toby Roland Jones bowled an excellent first over for just a single, but after that it was continuous carnage.
O’Brien was dropped on 14 by Josh Davey and again on 33 by Newman and the Irishman was halfway down the track attacking Paul Stirling when Simpson spurned the stumping chance with the opener on 50.
He extracted the full price from the long hops and full tosses on offer to race to 100 off 44 balls with nine sixes.
Two more followed before he fell for 119 from 52 balls and partner Marshall was almost as belligerent hitting 102 in 54 balls, though he too was dropped by Newman.
Ian Cockbain’s four off the final ball ensured the record score as Anthony Ireland returned a horrendous 4-0-57-1 against his former team-mates.
Friday’s hero Paul Stirling perished for nought to the third ball of Middlesex’s fruitless chase in which only Simpson (38), Malan and Tom Smith (36 not out) provided any resistance.
To complete their misery Jamie Dalrymple retired hurt – the legacy of a shoulder problem while fielding and Malan’s hamstring problem flared up once more - both are serious doubts for tomorrow's County Championship clash against the same opponents.
Fraser added: Jamie dived in the outfield and while I’m not quite sure what he has done to his shoulder, needless to say he is doubtful for tomorrow.
“Dawid is struggling with his hamstring too so he is unlikely to play. We had to find out how the injury was so he did all his fitness tests before the start of the game and came through them, but it has not reacted positively and we will have to re-evaluate now because we want him to be fit for the second half of the season.”