Middlesex beaten after rain lashes Radlett

Dawid Malan of Middlesex bats during the Group B Royal London One-Day Cup match between Middlesex and Kent Spitfires at Radlett Cricket Ground, Radlett, England on 31 July 2015. Photo by Sarah Ansell.

Middlesex 295-8 (50 ov): McCullum 74, Morgan 52; Crane 4-80
Hampshire 204-5 (25.3 ov): Dawson 68*; Franklin 1-25, Roland-Jones 1-26
Middlesex (0 pts) lost to Hampshire (2 pts) by five wickets on D/L method 

Middlesex suffered defeat in their opening Royal London One-Day Cup match at Radlett as Hampshire reached their adjusted target with three balls to spare.

Brendon McCullum hit a brilliant 74 on only his second appearance for the club but was upstaged by the visitors’ teenage leg spinner Mason Crane, who took four wickets, including that of the New Zealander.

Crane also accounted for Eoin Morgan, who scored 52 from 47 balls, and new one-day skipper James Franklin, who had chipped in with 40 in Middlesex’s total of 295-8.

Hampshire were 12-1 after 4.2 overs when heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, held up play for two hours and 10 minutes.

They were set a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 202 from 26 overs, and their chase was given fresh impetus by Adam Wheater’s 41 and a fourth-wicket stand of 89 between Sean Ervine and Liam Dawson.

Middlesex spinners Paul Stirling and Ravi Patel were struck for sixes by left-hander Ervine, while Dawson – who was earlier Hampshire’s most economical bowler – treated fast bowlers James Fuller and Tom Helm harshly.

Ervine hit two sixes in his 45 while Dawson saw Hampshire through to the finish with nine boundaries in an unbeaten 68.

Earlier, McCullum’s 74 from 56 balls, featuring four sixes and eight fours, included some wonderful strokes as Middlesex appeared to be heading towards an intimidating total.

Crane, who bowled Dawid Malan for 25, kept his nerve immediately after being deposited straight back over his head by McCullum to take the edge of the New Zealander’s bat, Ervine catching at slip.