Vitality Blast - 25 July 2019

Gloucestershire won by 2 wickets

Venue: Cheltenham College

Gloucestershire v Middlesex

Cheltenham-born Miles Hammond delighted his home crowd with a brilliant array of shots as Gloucestershire inflicted a first defeat on Middlesex in this season’s Vitality Blast.

In front of a sell-out 5,000 attendance at a steaming College Ground, the 23-year-old opener smashed 63, including 9 fours and 3 sixes, to help see his side to a two-wicket win after the visitors had won the toss and elected to bat.

Without AB de Villers, who was nursing a hand injury, Middlesex could post only 148 for nine on the fast-scoring College Ground, Stevie Eskinazi making 40 and John Simpson 42 not out. David Payne claimed three for 32, while Ryan Higgins and AJ Tye both returned two for 23.

In reply, Gloucestershire slipped to 84 for five, despite Hammond’s efforts, before Benny Howell (33) and Jack Taylor (24) made sure they reached 151 for eight and won with 4 balls to spare.

Middlesex began like a team who had won their first two group games, Eskinazi hitting 3 fours off the first four balls of the match, sent down by Payne, and Dawid Malan lofting Graeme van Buuren’s second ball from the other end over deep square for six.

But left-arm spinner van Buuren stemmed the early momentum with his next delivery, which saw Malan caught and bowled off a skyer.

Dan Lincoln came in at three in the absence of de Villiers for his Middlesex debut. The 24-year-old Surrey-born batsman and Eskinazi, who faced only 26 balls, took the score to 73 before the latter was brilliantly stumped by James Bracey off a Howell leg-side wide.

Lincoln made sure the momentum was maintained, hitting Higgins for a straight six, before being caught at deep mid-wicket off the following delivery for a promising 30.

The same over saw Nick Gubbins taken at long-on for a single and at the halfway stage Middlesex were 81 for four. The visitors were then squeezed by Howell, AJ Tye, Higgins and Tom Smith, losing George Scott cheaply as they added 26 in four overs.

Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Helm perished to catches at extra cover off Payne, while Nathan Souter also succumbed to an attempted big hit and Mujeeb was bowled by Tye for a duck.

Middlesex had lost their early momentum, a straight six by Simpson off Howell in the 15th over a rare blow of defiance.

Gloucestershire’s innings began as their opponents’ had done, Hammond hitting 2 fours and a six in the opening two overs.

But the third saw Tom Helm strike a double blow, having dangerman Michael Klinger caught behind for ten and Ian Cockbain taken at point two balls later to leave the hosts 25 for two.

Hammond continued to attack with a series of sweetly-timed shots that help take the hosts to 59 for two at the end of the power-play. Soon the local boy was raising his bat to acknowledge warm applause for a 26-ball fifty.

Bracey and Higgins fell cheaply before Hammond’s superb knock was ended by a low catch from wicketkeeper Simpson off Roland-Jones. At 84 for five, Gloucestershire had to regroup.

Howell, dropped at short cover before he had scored, and Taylor added 45 priceless runs. Both fell at the end, along with van Buuren, but had already ensured a hugely successful Festival for Gloucestershire ended in style, Smith hitting the winning runs.

THE TURNING POINT: England Lions batsman James Bracey showed his prowess as Gloucestershire’s second string wicketkeeper in the County Championship win over Worcestershire. Here he certainly looked the part with a no-fuss stumping down the leg side to dismiss Eskinazi, who had looked in ominous form

SHOT OF THE DAY: Miles Hammond is clearly no respecter of reputations. A short ball from former England bowler Steve Finn in the sixth over of Gloucestershire’s innings was dispatched square over the point boundary for six.

UNSUNG HERO: David Payne went for 13 from the opening over of the game. But the left-arm seamer was unruffled and took three wickets from his remaining three overs at a cost of only 19 runs.

WHAT’S NEXT: With their beloved Cheltenham Festival over for another year, Gloucestershire head to Chelmsford to face Essex on Saturday. Middlesex travel to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan tomorrow night.


Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat.

Michael Klinger | Miles Hammond | Ian Cockbain | James Bracey | Ryan Higgins | Benny Howell | Jack Taylor | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Smith | Andrew Tye | David Payne |

Stephen Eskinazi | Dawid Malan | Daniel Lincoln | Nicholas Gubbins | George Scott | John Simpson | Tobias Roland-Jones | Thomas Helm | Nathan Sowter | Steven Finn | Mujeeb Ur Rahman |

Gloucestershire win by 2 wickets

Middlesex First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Stevie Eskinazi Stumped James Bracey Bowled Benny Howell 40 29 26 7 0
Dawid Malan Caught and Bowled Graeme van Buuren 6 6 3 0 1
Dan Lincoln Caught Benny Howell Bowled Ryan Higgins 30 28 24 4 1
Nick Gubbins Caught Ian Cockbain Bowled Ryan Higgins 1 6 5 0 0
George Scott Caught James Bracey Bowled Andrew Tye 2 9 6 0 0
John Simpson Not Out 42 44 29 1 2
Toby Roland-Jones Caught Michael Klinger Bowled David Payne 14 21 18 1 0
Tom Helm Caught Michael Klinger Bowled David Payne 2 6 4 0 0
Nathan Sowter Caught Miles Hammond Bowled David Payne 4 4 2 1 0
Mujeeb Ur Rahman Bowled Andrew Tye 0 2 1 0 0
Steven Finn Not Out 1 2 2 0 0
Extras 1b 2lb 0nb 0p 3w 6
Total 148

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
20 73 81 81 91 125 134 141 141


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
David Payne 4 0 32 3
Graeme van Buuren 2 0 15 1
Ryan Higgins 4 0 23 2
Andrew Tye 4 0 23 2
Benny Howell 4 0 40 1
Tom Smith 2 0 12 0

Gloucestershire First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Miles Hammond Caught John Simpson Bowled Toby Roland-Jones 63 41 35 9 3
Michael Klinger Caught John Simpson Bowled Tom Helm 10 7 7 2 0
Ian Cockbain Caught George Scott Bowled Tom Helm 0 2 2 0 0
James Bracey Caught Nick Gubbins Bowled Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3 14 7 0 0
Ryan Higgins L.B.W. Nathan Sowter 6 14 10 0 0
Benny Howell Caught George Scott Bowled Steven Finn 33 27 27 4 0
Jack Taylor Caught Toby Roland-Jones Bowled Steven Finn 24 35 24 2 0
Graeme van Buuren Caught Dawid Malan Bowled Steven Finn 1 12 2 0 0
Andrew Tye Not Out 0 3 0 0 0
Tom Smith Not Out 6 1 2 1 0
David Payne
Extras 0b 4lb 0nb 0p 1w 5
Total 151

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
25 25 59 84 84 129 145 145


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Tom Helm 4 0 35 2
Mujeeb Ur Rahman 4 0 25 1
Steven Finn 4 0 30 3
Nathan Sowter 4 0 27 1
Toby Roland-Jones 3 0 30 1