Match Report - Gloucestershire v Middlesex
21 April 2019
Stevie Eskinazi’s first century in one-day cricket saw Middlesex to a 6-wicket win over Gloucestershire at Lord’s.
He and England Lion Nick Gubbins shared an unbroken stand of 184 for the fifth wicket. Dawid Malan had won the toss and elected to field first, Tim Murtagh brought one back off the seam to trap George Hankins LBW with just 11 on the board.
Gloucestershire skipper, Chris Dent moved smoothly to 47 and sharing a 65-run stand with wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick, before heading back to the Pavilion after top edging a pull shot off Toby Roland-Jones into the hands of Tom Helm at long leg.
Roderick (38) too failed to make the most of a good start when cutting one too close to him, John Simpson taking the catch behind the stumps.
Bracey (83) and Howell though settled down to dominate the middle overs, the former endangering occupants of the Mound and Tavern stands where he deposited four sixes. Howell meanwhile proved the perfect foil, keeping the scoreboard ticking as the pair shared a century stand at a little over a run a ball.
At 212-4 with a little under 15 overs left, Gloucestershire looked set for a mammoth score, but Bracey faltered in sight of his century, smearing the excellent Murtagh to George Scott at deep cover.
Howell (55) continued on to his own half-century with just two fours and added a third soon afterwards, but like others before him then departed caught down the leg-side off a wayward delivery from Roland-Jones.
Gloucestershire ended their innings just short of the 300-plus that our start had suggested.
Middlesex began strongly, two towering sixes from Paul Stirling helping them to 28-0 off three overs.
However, the Ireland international’s dismissal to a lazy swish at a wide one from Matt Taylor sparked a slump.
Simpson was caught and bowled by Worrall without troubling the scorers and when the in-form Malan drove the same bowler to short cover the hosts were 36-3.
England captain Morgan briefly led a counter-offensive, including a towering six into the pavilion members, but when he was caught behind at 103-4 the visitors were well in charge.
The robust cameo had though put Middlesex ahead of the asking rate, meaning Eskinazi and Gubbins could rebuild patiently.
The 50-stand came in 41 balls with Eskinazi first to 50 from 48, before the left-hander achieved the landmark from one ball fewer.
The 100 partnership came from 86 balls by which time the momentum had swung the way of the Londoners.
Growing in confidence, Eskinazi eased to a century as the win came with 7.4 overs to spare.