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Cricket: Middlesex ‘not good enough’ says Malan

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 September 2018

Middlesex's Dawid Malan (pic John Walton/PA)

Middlesex's Dawid Malan (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan admitted his side didn’t bat well enough on day one of their County Championship Division Two match at Durham.

James Harris (31) top scored as the visitors were dismissed for just 121, with Matt Salisbury claiming career-best figures of 6-37.

And the home side reached 227-5 in reply, after Paul Collingwood was dismissed for 32 by Ethan Bamber in the final match of his long career.

Malan said: “The wicket is moving, there are big plates that are moving everywhere. Bowling last on here would have been ideal. It would have been harder to bat last as it showed with (Nick) Gubbins’ ball when the plates move how the wicket was going to play.

“Saying that we didn’t bat well enough. We’re probably 60 runs short of where we wanted to be, we’ve seen the average scores 180-200 gets you in the game. We’ve bowled as badly as we’ve bowled all year.

“We didn’t manage to put any balls in the right areas consistently to create pressure. I’d say the last hour-and-a-half were our usual standards of bowling. The way Ethan Bamber, Tim Murtagh, James Fuller and James Harris bowled, we beat the bat numerous times. We couldn’t find that consistency up until that point and that put us on the back foot.”

Middlesex batsman Stevie Eskinazi suffered an eye injury when dropping Collingwood at slip, which forced him to leave the field.

Malan added: “He’s still shaken up, they’re still assessing him to discover whether he’s concussed or not. It went straight through his hands and hit him in the side of the head. He’s not feeling too good at the moment.

“The wicket is quite slow, we’re really close to give ourselves a chance with our catching. Collingwood had a big flash at one and it went straight through his hands.”

Durham’s Salisbury was delighted to enjoy his best-ever day with the ball, adding: “It was nice. I’ve got four-fors a few times this year and have not been quite able to get my first five-wicket haul. So it was nice to finally get it over the line.

“I saw him [James Fuller] come down quite early, I knew he would play his shots, but I didn’t expect one of the first balls he faced off me. It skidded through him and hit the poles.

“We were a little bit surprised to be bowling. It looked like a good batting pitch and a little different to how it normally does. We still would have bowled because we know the history, teams bowl first here and do well.

“Everyone is determined to put forward a good performance this week. Not only because of the last game, but being Colly’s final game. We want to put in a good performance and try and win for him.”

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