Following their Royal London One-Day Cup Play-off disappointment against Lancashire, Middlesex return to County Championship when Leicestershire make the trip to Lord’s this week.
One of the favourites for promotion, Middlesex were beaten last time out with the red ball by Lancashire having drawn their opening match against Northamptonshire. Stuart Law’s side were a surprise package in the One-Day Cup, finishing second in the North Group before Friday’s 20-run defeat to the Red Rose.
Leicestershire were disappointing in the 50 over competition but did win their final fixture against Warwickshire. The Foxes produced a superb display in their opening away fixture in the County Championship so far in 2019 to beat Sussex by 7 wickets.
In a losing cause on Friday in the One-Day Cup play-off, James Harris produced his maiden century for Middlesex. 24-5 after 10 overs, the game seemed lost but Harris made 117 from 108 balls sharing a 197 run partnership with John Simpson. He will be keen to take that form back into the Championship.
Leicestershire supporters will be delighted that their Pakistani overseas player Mohammad Abbas will make his first Championship appearance of the season at Lord’s. Abbas missed the Foxes’ first two matches of the season, due to visa issues, but returned with figures of 2-55 against Northants and 1-59 against Warwickshire in the One-Day Cup. Abbas was named man of the match in Pakistan’s win over England at Lord’s last summer.
Middlesex have recalled batsman Tom Lace from Derbyshire, with Eoin Morgan and Paul Stirling on international duty and Dawid Malan injured. Young bowler Ethan Bamber is also set for a chance to impress with Tim Murtagh away with Ireland.
Middlesex squad: Stephen Eskinazi (c), Ethan Bamber, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Tom Helm, Tom Lace, Max Holden, Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Toby Roland-Jones, George Scott, John Simpson, Nathan Sowter
The aforementioned Abbas returns to the Leicestershire squad from their last Championship game against Worcestershire, while spinner Callum Parkinson is also involved for the first time in red ball cricket this season.
Leicestershire squad: Paul Horton (c), Mohammad Abbas, Colin Ackermann, Hassan Azad, Mark Cosgrove, Will Davis, Harry Dearden, Lewis Hill, Ateeq Javid, Ben Mike, Callum Parkinson, Tom Taylor, Chris Wright
Weather and conditions
There looks set to be no weather issues in St John’s Wood, with temperatures set to reach 18 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Lord’s is hosting its second Championship match of the season, with Middlesex having lost to Lancashire by 7 wickets in the first following two below-par scores of 265 and 200.
Date: 14th-17th May 2019
Odds (SkyBet): Middlesex 1/2, Leicestershire 13/8