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A rum do as Morgan's ton is all in vain for Middlesex

PUBLISHED: 10:43 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:05 07 September 2010

Middlesex 259 Essex 260-2 Middlesex failed to make the most of a solid opening and crashed to their third straight Friends Provident Trophy defeat at leaders Essex in Chelmsford on Sunday. The Lord s outfit were making a quick return to Essex following

Middlesex 259 Essex 260-2

Middlesex failed to make the most of a solid opening and crashed to their third straight Friends Provident Trophy defeat at leaders Essex in Chelmsford on Sunday.

The Lord's outfit were making a quick return to Essex following last week's surprise loss in the County Championship when they failed to hold onto a winning position.

On Sunday, Middlesex once again raised hopes by racing to a match-winning tally, but were again unable to capitalise on outstanding batting displays by captain Ed Smith (75) and Eoin Morgan (100).

Smith elected to bat first but his decision looked flawed when opener Ed Joyce and Billy Godleman both departed without troubling the scoreboard.

Without a run on the board and two wickets down, a dramatic turnaround was required and Smith rose to the challenge. He steadied the ship with a solid 75.

The captain was joined at the crease by Morgan, who racked up a century in just over two hours, to raise Middlesex hopes after Owais Shah (2) was bowled.

The momentum continued as Vernon Philander (32no) and Tim Murtagh (29no) took the visitors tally to 259-7 off 50 overs.

And then Middlesex hopes soared when all-rounder Philander bowled Mark Pettini for one. But the Eagles already have a quarter-final place in their sights and immediately raised their game. Jason Gallian (111no) soon proceeded to lift the home side with a scintillating display with the bat, seemingly reaching the boundary at will as he bagged 14 fours and a six.

Varun Chopra (50) followed up with a thundering half-century off only 56 balls in just over an hour before Ravi Bopara stepped up to the crease.

Bopara (85no) started slowly but steadily increased momentum as the Middlesex bowlers failed to break the partnership.

Facing indifferent bowling, Bopara's confidence rose in tandem with his tally as the pair made light of the visitors efforts and ensured victory in the 43rd over.

Middlesex are currently playing Warwickshire at Edgbaston in the County Championship and return to Trophy action against Sussex at Southgate on Sunday.


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