Jul 8 2011 By Jon Batham
Neil Dexter Image 1
T20 CUP SOUTH GROUP Surrey Lions 182-3 Middlesex Panthers173-8 Panthers lost by nine runs
A DIRK was driven into Middlesex's heart last night when they lost their 11th game of the Twenty/20 Cup.
In this case, it was Dirk Nannes returning to Lord’s after winning the competition with the Panthers in 2008.
But this time the Dutch-Aussie paceman proved the difference for the wrong side, taking 5-40 in his four overs.
The left-armer roared in at in excess of 90mph to claim the prize scalps of Chris Rogers and Jamie Dalrymple, as Middlesex’s brave chase came up just short.
Yet, the woeful nature of the Middlesex’s Twenty/20 campaign made this defeat a big improvement on what’s gone before.
Neil Dexter’s men recovered from a traumatic start where Jason Roy (52) and Steven Davies pummelled 92 off the first nine overs.
Jamie Dalrymple got the breakthrough when Roy holed out to Chris Rogers at long off and in his next over the all-rounder struck again as Davies (51) was caught behind.
Dalrymple finished with 2-23, but surprisingly was not given his final allotted over.
From 117-2 after 12 overs, Panthers did well to restrict the Lions to 65 from the final eight overs where Tom Smith (1-33) got a minor reward for his clever flight when Rory Hamilton-Brown was stumped.
Nevertheless, Middlesex’s reply appeared to be in tatters after three wickets tumbled in as many overs.
Paul Stirling fell in the first bowled by Zander de Bruyn, with the credit going to Stuart Meaker for a stunning catch as he clung on to a skier that dropped over the back of his head.
Scott Newman quickly followed caught down the leg-side off Chris Tremlett, and after Rogers hit Nannes for a four and a six, the giant quick beat him for pace with a peach of a delivery that removed his off bail.
Dexter and Dalrymple fough back with a stand of 74, the former hitting one six and six fours that took him to 49 in 37 balls before he was stumped by Davies off Chris Schofield in the 13th over.
Eighty were still needed off the last seven, but with Dalrymple striking a huge six and John Simpson playing positively, the impossible became plausible until Nannes produced two killer blows in the 17th over.
First, Simpson (19) holed out to Roy and then after one final defiant boundary Dalrymple (48) pulled a ball to the safe hands of Gareth Batty at mid-wicket.
Despite 18 in 11 balls from Sam Robson, the task of scoring 42 off the last three overs proved beyond them, and so the hope of a morale boosting win shifts to Sunday and Somerset’s visit to Southgate.