Dawid Malan hit 91 off 59 balls as Middlesex beat Gloucestershire by nine runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-shortened game at Radlett.
The Middlesex captain once again looked in fine form and looked set to make a second T20 century this season, had the rain not stopped the game with 11 balls to go.
Having won the toss, Gloucestershire elected to bat and made a positive start. The visitors reached 50 in just more than five overs and Miles Hammond looked in the mood to score big following a flurry of boundaries.
However, Middlesex bowlers Toby Roland-Jones and Steven Finn were able to stem the flow of runs. Following his five-for at Lords earlier in the week, Finn once again looked in top form, his first over going only for one, before he took the important wickets of Miles Hammond (42) and Ian Cockbain (one) as well as planting a nasty blow to opening batsmen Michael Klinger. Klinger was dismissed by Roland-Jones shortly afterwards for 20.
Gloucestershire rebuilt well in the middle overs and reached 75-3 at the halfway stage. However, Middlesex managed to keep the run rate down and Finn looked the pick of the bowlers finishing with figures of 3-17, making him the joint top-wicket taker in the Blast so far.
A late charge from Graeme Van Bureen, with two sixes and a boundary off Tom Helm’s last over, took Gloucestershire to 168/8 at the end of their innings.
In response, Middlesex looked comfortable. After the powerplay they were 48-0 with Paul Stirling 29 off 19 and Malan 17 off 17. Although Stirling on 33 was caught on the boundary off the bowling of Chris Liddle, in the eighth over, Middlesex matched the run rate at the halfway stage as they were 76-1 after 10 overs.
From that point onwards Middlesex controlled the game. Malan brought his 50 up in just 33 balls with a straight six back over the bowlers head. With already four sixes to his name Malan pushed on hitting five more fours to all corners of the ground.
Fan favourite, Eoin Morgan looked in the mood to score, racing to 16 off just eight balls. However, as it began to rain in Radlett the pitch slowed and Morgan chipped a David Payne delivery to midwicket.
With Middlesex needing 16 from the last 11 balls rain halted play for the day with Middlesex stranded on 156-3. At this point the Duckworth Lewis score read 147 meaning that Middlesex were well above the run rate and as such won the game.
Speaking after the match Dawid Malan told Deep Extra Cover: “We were disappointed to lose the other night especially after how we played at Lords on Thursday. We were not aggressive enough with the bat in Hove and that’s not the way we want to play moving forward.
“To chase a score of 160-170 you have to have a batter who bats through and thankfully today was my day. But the way the boys played around it was superb.
“We are just trying to focus on each game as it comes and the goal for us is to play good enough cricket to qualify and good enough cricket to reach the final. We just want to win every game of cricket we play.
“We knew spin wasn’t going to play a part in it. It’s hard with three seamers but the boys did a fantastic job in the middle overs. That’s the reason you win T20 games.”