Match Report and Talking Points From Surrey vs Middlesex

Peter Handscomb won the toss and sent Surrey into bat, with Burns and Stoneman performing well, putting on a 127 run stand up until lunchtime on day one. After that, it was like dominoes, with Pope, Foakes and Smith all falling without score, and subsequently Jordan Clark for 1. It was a stellar performance by the Middlesex bowlers after lunch, using the overcast conditions to their advantage.

Middlesex's batting, however, was a different story. Middlesex fell to 27-4, with captain Handscomb falling for 5. Middlesex's keeper, John Simpson played a confident innings, scoring 68, but Middlesex were bowled out for 160.

Surrey's second innings was high in energy and confidence, with Rory Burns scoring a century off 160 balls. Stoneman also added 74 to the scoreboard. Ollie Pope then played some innovative T20-esque shots (37*), but Rory Burns declared on 259-2. It looked like the same old story for Middlesex batting, with Davies falling for 2, but Robson set up a nice 32 for Nick Gubbins to come in and smash his way to 124 off 145 balls, he looked fluent, but not quite good enough to get Middlesex over the line in the end. A good performance from both sides, and the weather gods forced a draw in the last over of the match.

Four Talking Points

Middlesex's Bright Future with the Ball

One of the few positives to come out of the match, and the season for Middlesex, has been to emergence of their young seam attack, including the likes of Ethan Bamber, Blake Cullen and Martin Anderson. Both Bamber and Cullen have represented England in the U-19 World Cup, and show real promise for the next 10 years ahead, with many people already dubbing Bamber with the title of "mini-Murts". Bamber has scalped many highly accomplished players, including Paul Collingwood, Jofra Archer and most recently, Rory Burns. Cullen, although less has been seen of him, has bust onto the scene, with exuberant energy whilst bowling, also proving handy with the bat. Middlesex will soon be looking for long-term replacements for people such as Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones, with these three seamers looking front runners.

Should Rory Burns be Playing for England?

With his highly unorthodox technique proving to be working, producing a century in 160 balls, although, in typical Rory Burns fashion, not the most fluent. He has been performing well in a Surrey shirt recently, yet on the international stage, his unconventional technique has not proved to have paid off. He boasts an average of 61 in the County Championship this year, the seventh best in the league, with a strike rate of around 53, however, when it comes to England, he averages only 30 in his 23 games.

Poor form for Peter

Middlesex's big money signing has certainly not paid off, with the Australian averaging just 14.44, a total lower than three of Middlesex's bowlers. Although his innings today of 70 off 94 balls today showed a glimmer of what he is capable off, with strong drives through the off side a plenty, there is no excuse for his current form as captain and overseas player of Middlesex. His captaincy skills have also left many fans questioning, such as unorthodox field placements and the all-seam attack. A poor season all-round for the new-Middlesex captain.

Should Middlesex Have Given Up?

Another debate about Handscomb's captaincy was the the decision to give up at the end and fight for a draw, rather than going on the aggressor for the win. At a time when Middlesex had everything to gain and nothing to lose, it seemed like a foolish decision not to send Tim Murtagh (or a Tim Murtagh like character) out the the middle to try and hit the long ball, rather than Tom Helm, awkwardly dodging and ducking bouncers.

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