Berg cool as ice as youngsters shine
MIDDLESEX captain Shaun Udal believes the future is bright after the county s youngsters played starring roles in their County Championship win over Gloucestershire. Twenty-year-old batsmen Sam Robson...
MIDDLESEX captain Shaun Udal believes the future is bright after the county's youngsters played starring roles in their County Championship win over Gloucestershire.
Twenty-year-old batsmen Sam Robson and Adam London - on his senior debut - scored half-centuries in the clash at Lord's, while Gareth Berg picked up the first five-wicket haul of his career.
Middlesex's 180-run victory was only their second this season in the County Championship, marred only by the elbow injury that will keep Robson out for the remainder of the campaign.
"The performance of the young kids was sensational," Udal told the Gazette. "Sam Robson was fantastic, as he has been since he's come into the team, and Gareth Berg got that five-for he's been desperate to get.
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Robson (83) and London (68) shared a second-wicket partnership of 96 against Gloucestershire, with Neil Dexter hitting 51 and Udal weighing in with 45 as Middlesex totalled 342 in their first innings.
A three-wicket burst from Tim Murtagh took him past 50 for the season as the visitors struggled, with only Chris Taylor (65) offering much resistance.
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He fell to Murali Kartik (3-44), while Murtagh finished on 4-61 after dismissing last man Steve Kirby to end the Gloucestershire innings for 210.
Robson, injured while taking a catch to dismiss Steve Adshead, was unable to open the second innings, so Kartik stepped in to forge a partnership of 128 with Nick Compton.
The opener was eventually stumped for 57, while Compton reached 83 and Dexter hit an unbeaten 39 as the home side rattled up 273-7 declared. That left Gloucestershire a daunting victory target of 406 and they were soon on the defensive as Murtagh and Steven Finn collected two wickets apiece.
And then Berg (pictured) got in on the act, prising out Kadeer Ali for 48, bowling Adshead for a duck and breaking a seventh-wicket stand of 78 as Dawid Malan pouched Dawson (35) with a superb slip catch.
Ian Saxelby and Jon Lewis followed, before Murtagh wrapped up Middlesex's victory by removing Kirby for the second time in the match. Udal praised Berg, whose 5-55 was a career best.
"Gareth's performed in fits and starts - apart from the game at Kent, he's either done well with the bat or the ball for us and obviously we want him to do both," he said.
"He'll be over the moon to get a five-for on a good wicket and I'm really delighted for him. He's changed his lifestyle and diet, he's looked after himself a lot better than he did last year and he's got his reward.