Big money in Twenty20, but Middlesex want trophies
WE VE had a tremendous start to the Twenty20 Cup with four straight wins, including Monday s gritty success over Surrey at Lord s. The run started last Wednesday at The Rose Bowl where Shaun Udal returned to remind Hampshire what a good player he still is
WE'VE had a tremendous start to the Twenty20 Cup with four straight wins, including Monday's gritty success over Surrey at Lord's.
The run started last Wednesday at The Rose Bowl where Shaun Udal returned to remind Hampshire what a good player he still is with a man of the match performance.
He received a great reception and showed that in Twenty20 if you have one good spinner it is bonus, if you have two then you have some bowling attack. Shaun also scored an unbeaten 32 from 18 balls.
In the first match of our back-to-back games against Essex at Lord's the following day, Eoin Morgan showed he's got all the shots. He was out three short of his half-century going for it. This form of cricket suits his explosive game.
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There's no doubt Eoin can be one of our stars of the future. We still call him a young player but he's already played World Cup cricket - something I've never done - and he bats No.3 for Ireland.
At Chelmsford on Sunday, we made it three out of three with a seven-wicket win. This time Dirk Nannes's hat-trick did the trick. He finished with 4-28 from being 4-4 after two overs. Tyron Henderson scored an unbeaten 64 to take the game away from them.
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Ed Joyce has taken over the captaincy from Ed Smith, who missed the past two games because of injury. The two Eds work well together and Joycey and has done nothing wrong.
The games are continuing to come thick and fact in the Twenty20 Cup. After the Surrey game we have two more back- to-back games against Sussex today at Lord's and Kent at Beckenham tomorrow. Next up is Hampshire at Richmond on Sunday, followed by Kent at Uxbridge on Tuesday and Sussex at Hove next Wednesday.
Yet, it is a great time to be playing. We are on a roll, coming off the back of the two successive wins in the County Championship, as well as our Twenty20 Cup run.
They are all big games and we want to build on those early successes and reach the quarter-finals - or even further.
Of course there has been much talk in the dressing room about the big money on offer - £2.5million - with both finalists going through to the inaugural Twenty20 Cup Champions League.
But once you are out in the field there's little talk about the money - players want to win games and win trophies. Don't get me wrong, the money is a great incentive but players just want to win competitions.
Players just want to compete on the biggest stage and for a lot of them the Twenty20 Cup Champions League will be the nearest they get to experiencing international cricket. There will be a massive spotlight on them.
I believe Twenty20 will change the face of cricket for ever. It will be as big as they want to make it.
The fact that we are playing winning cricket in the Twenty20 will help us carry that success into the second half of the County Championship.
Last year, Somerset ran away with the division two title but nobody is doing that this time.
We had to scrap really hard to beat Derbyshire for our first win but then had a comprehensive innings victory over Essex. We want to go into the second half with that confidence still intact.
Chris Silverwood was
talking to Patrick Mooney