Middlesex come up short in T20 run chase

Somerset 207-9 (20 ovs): Hose 59; Sowter 3-43, Southee 2-35
Middlesex 186-7 (20 ovs): Stirling 39, Higgins 35*; Overton 3-24
Middlesex (0 pts) lost to Somerset (2 pts) by 21 runs

Beleaguered Middlesex captain Brendon McCullum failed yet again with the bat as his side were thrashed by Somerset in the T20 Blast at Uxbridge.

The former New Zealand star, who has now mustered only 36 runs in four T20 games, presided over a second comprehensive Middlesex defeat in the space of three days.

And this latest loss – by 21 runs – came against a Somerset side who had not succeeded in winning any of their previous 10 fixtures in the competition.

Somerset won the toss and batted, but Steven Finn (2-40) made early inroads by having skipper Jim Allenby (3) caught at mid-wicket and then bowling Peter Trego (1) with a snorter.

It was Adam Hose – smashing 59 from just 28 deliveries – who rebuilt his side’s innings as he shared 50-plus partnerships with both Lewis Gregory (37) and James Hildreth (38).

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter (3-43) accounted for all three batsmen, taking a running catch over his shoulder to dismiss Hildreth and trapping Hose leg before as he attempted a sweep.

That reduced Somerset’s momentum as they slumped from 131-3 to 159-7, but some late hitting by Roelof van der Merwe (17) and Craig Overton (19) ensured the visitors passed 200.

A downpour delayed the start of the Middlesex reply – and the home side soon found themselves in deep water at 25-2 as McCullum (10) slapped Josh Davey to mid-off and Dawid Malan (7) was then stumped off a wide.

Paul Stirling slammed four big sixes in a brisk knock of 39 before he holed out to deep square leg and Eoin Morgan soon followed, caught on the boundary for 33.

James Franklin (25) and John Simpson (27) did their best to keep Middlesex in touch with a rapidly rising run-rate – but, despite a lively cameo of 35 not out from Ryan Higgins, the home side came up well short.