Report: Middlesex v Warwickshire, Royal London Cup
Stephen Eskinazi continued his love affair with this season’s Royal London One-day Cup as Middlesex beat Warwickshire by 128 runs at Radlett.
The England Lion made the most of being dropped early on to reach 642 runs for the campaign with his fourth century (102) of the competition, leaving him four shy of Graham Clark’s record of 646 set playing for Durham in 2021.
Eskinazi shared a stand of 213 for the second wicket with Sam Robson who made 111, his best list-A score as the hosts piled up 374-3 their highest total ever in the format at Radlett.
Dominic Sibley made 89 in the run-chase, but with Michael Burgess hampered by an injury sustained in the field the Bears could only muster 246 . Luke Hollman returned a career-best four for 34 while young seamer Max Harris took two for 53.
Middlesex, began hesitantly, Oliver Hannon-Dalby finding the edge of Eskinazi’s bat when he’d made just 10. However, wicketkeeper Burgess not only failed to cling on to the chance but dislocated his thumb in the process. Fellow opener Mark Stoneman soon hooked the same bowler down the throat of deep square, but it was scant compensation.
New batter Robson was felled by a short ball from George Garrett early in his innings, but once the green tinge left the hybrid pitch he and Eskinazi took charge. Both men hit beautifully over cover and Eskinazi struck the first six of the day back over the bowler’s head.
Robson was the first to 50 at a little over a run a ball while Eskinazi made it to 600 runs in this year’s competition when he reached 60. The two Seaxes forged on in a race to three figures, Robson winning that contest too, a six back over Hannon-Dalby’s head and 10 fours taking him to his century in 95 balls. And one ball later the Middlesex faithful were on their feet again to laud Eskinazi’s latest ton from 104 balls.
It took a deflection onto the stumps at the bowler’s end to run out Eskinazi and bring their stand to a close and Robson holed out in the deep soon afterwards.
Their departures though brought little respite for Warwickshire as Max Holden (62 not out)and Pieter Malan (59 not out) plundered a hundred partnership from the final 52 balls, the former clubbing a six almost into the pavilion, while the South African’s maximum threatened those queuing for an ice-cream.
On a day when England crumbled in the Test their former opener Sibley opened positively in reply driving strongly both straight and through cover, finding the fence nine times in reaching 50 in 62 balls.
The problem for the visitors was no-one could provide the sense of permanence to stay with him and chase down such a target.
The in-form Rob Yates missed out nicking one from Toby Greatwood to wicketkeeper Joe Cracknell and skipper Will Rhodes soon followed him back to the pavilion when Martin Andersson spread-eagled his stumps.
Matt Lamb flourished briefly in a stand of 53 only to then be castled by the returning Greatwood and Ethan Brookes was another to get a start before falling lbw to Hollman. The young leg-spinner would strike again in his next over too bowling 16-year-old Hamsa Shaikh around his legs.
Sibley’s stout resistance ended when he edged Max Harris through to Cracknell and although Burgess bravely came out to bat he was yorked by Umesh Yadav as Middlesex ran out convincing winners.
U16s go FREE to Royal London Cup this summer
Edgbaston will host four 50-over Royal London Cup matches during the summer school holidays this August.
Under 16s will go free to all matches, while adult tickets are only £15. Purchase your tickets in advance today.