Murtagh's four-wicket magic sees off late Kent rally

Middlesex 177-8 Kent 166 TIM Murtagh snuffed out Kent s late rally when he took the final four wickets in their rain-affected Friends Provident Trophy clash at Lord s on Sunday, writes Simon Jackson. Due to the poor conditions acting skipper Ed Joyce too

Middlesex 177-8 Kent 166

TIM Murtagh snuffed out Kent's late rally when he took the final four wickets in their rain-affected Friends Provident Trophy clash at Lord's on Sunday, writes Simon Jackson.

Due to the poor conditions acting skipper Ed Joyce took almost three hours to rack up 27 runs off 15 balls in a frustrating stand with Billy Godleman before being caught and bowled.

After the departure of Godleman (43), who was run out almost three hours after first steeping up to the crease, the target was cut to 37 overs.


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Andrew Strauss (33) fared best of the remainder of the Lord's outfit, before being caught and bowled.

Owais Shah (2), out for a duck against Glamorgan in the County Championship last week, continued his forgettable week when he was run out after facing a meagre eight balls.

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Eoin Morgan (29) raised hopes as he took the Middlesex total to 161, but was caught and bowled, as was Vernon Philander (12). Middlesex finally scored 177-8.

Kent's reply took an early knock when Steven Finn, who did not bat, bowled Robert Key for one, but Kent rallied and van Jaarsveld (53) raised hopes before being bowled by Shaun Udal.

Darren Steven's 25 added to the tally before being bowled by Philander but when Azhar Mahmood's 31-minute stand resulted in 21 runs off 21 balls, the visitors were suddenly in the driving seat.

However, Murtagh halted the momentum that had taken Kent to 142 when he almost single-handedly shattered their hopes.

First, he bowled James Tredwell (4) and then in the final over he dispatched Gerrant Jones (4), Yasir Arafat (4) and then Simon Cook for a duck to wrap it up and keep the home side on top of the FPT table.

Sunday's limited overs win followed hard on the heels of Middlesex's division two draw with Glamorgan last week.

The visitors won the toss and elected to field, but soon paid the price as Middlesex showed their determination at the crease. Strauss (36) led the home charge with Godleman (36) and Morgan (8) took the home side to 95-4.

And better was to follow when David Nash (96) came within a whisker of his century while Berg (33) and Ed Joyce (33) carried the Lord's outfit to a 308 all out in the first innings.

But following the visitors' reply of 300 all out, Joyce (86), Strauss (49), Godleman (29) and Nash (63no) successfully managed to see out the day at the crease, and finished at 292-6 for the draw.

Middlesex are currently in action against Cardiff University in three-day game at Richmond.

On Sunday, they play Surrey in the Trophy at Lord's before travelling to Hove on Bank Holiday Monday to take on Sussex.

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