England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan will captain Middlesex in this summer’s T20 Blast competition.
Morgan, 33, will also celebrate a testimonial year with the county in 2020, who he last captained in 2015.
Middlesex reached the quarter-finals of last year’s T20 Blast before losing to Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.
Morgan played a key role hitting three half-centuries, which included a stunning 83 not out off just 29 balls in the final group match at Somerset.
And his match-winning 70 off 37 balls against Surrey at Lord’s and 53 off 31 against Notts saw him finish the 2019 tournament with 341 runs at an average of almost 43 and a strike rate just under 170.
Just weeks before, Morgan led England to their first World Cup triumph as they narrowly beat New Zealand in July’s memorable final at Lord’s.
Middlesex have only won the domestic T20 trophy once, when they beat Kent by three runs in 2008 at the Rose Bowl, a game in which Morgan made 23 off 18 balls.
He will also captain the Lord’s-based London Spirit in The Hundred, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new competition, this summer.
|Vitality Blast, Trent Bridge|
|Middlesex 160-8 (20 overs): Morgan 53; Carter 2-16|
|Notts Outlaws 165-0 (16.2 overs): Hales 83*, Nash 74*|
|Notts Outlaws beat Middlesex by 10 wickets|
Notts Outlaws thrashed Middlesex by 10 wickets to reach their third T20 Blast Finals Day in the past four seasons.
Alex Hales (83 not out) and Chris Nash (74 not out) made light work of a target of 161 as the hosts coasted to victory with 22 balls to spare.
Eoin Morgan’s 53 off 31 balls was the mainstay of Middlesex’s 160-8 but early wickets left them in trouble at 43-4 with AB de Villiers making just 11.
Notts, who last won the trophy in 2017, join Essex Eagles at Finals Day.
Hales, omitted from England’s World Cup-winning squad earlier this season following suspension for off-field matters, will head to the Caribbean Premier League to play for Barbados Tridents on Friday.
The right-hander will return in time for the T20 Blast semi-final at Edgbaston on 21 September.
He smashed six fours and seven sixes in his 47-ball knock while Nash, named in the side for the first time this year in the competition, hit 10 fours and a six in his 53-ball blitz.
Middlesex had not reached the quarter-finals since 2015 and had a night to forget in their first meeting with Notts in T20 cricket.
They lost openers Paul Stirling and Dawid Malan as well as de Villiers and Stephen Eskinazi inside the first seven overs after losing the toss and being put in.
Morgan rebuilt with the help of John Simpson (25) and Toby Roland-Jones (26), but fell a ball after reaching his half-century as Middlesex tried to set an imposing target.
Any chance 161 would be too much for Notts to chase evaporated as Hales and Nash plundered 76 without loss inside the powerplay.
They also profited from sloppy Middlesex fielding, with Nash dropped on 31 and Hales twice put down on 47 and 56.
Hales’ seventh sixth brought the curtain down on a commanding win with more than three overs remaining.
The two remaining quarter-finals see Sussex Sharks face holders Worcestershire Rapids on Friday in a repeat of last year’s final before Gloucestershire and Derbyshire meet at Bristol on Saturday.
Notts Outlaws captain Dan Christian told BBC Radio Nottingham:
“That was pretty close to the perfect game. We’ve been looking for that all tournament and if you pulled apart every ball, you’d hardly be able to find many faults with our game.
“Early wickets in the powerplay always helps and it put them under pressure because we tried to make them take risks.
“It’s been tough to have somebody Like Chris (Nash) on the sidelines throughout and difficult to get him in the team, but it was a decision we felt we had to make and luckily it paid off.
“Alex (Hales) has been getting better and better and this was him back to his best.”
Middlesex captain Dawid Malan:
“Pretty much everything went wrong for us, starting from losing the toss. It’s disappointing the way we lost early wickets, twice we lost two in a row and 43-4 wasn’t good enough.
“Even though, we felt we had a sniff with 160 on the board if we bowled well in the first six overs.
“It wasn’t a bad wicket, but we misread it.”
England one-day captain Eoin Morgan scored 83 not out off 29 balls to help Middlesex to a record T20 Blast run-chase and seal a quarter-final spot.
Somerset set Middlesex a target of 227 to win at Taunton, with Tom Abell finishing 101 not out for the hosts.
Coming in during the ninth over with his side 111-3, Morgan’s superb knock helped Middlesex to victory with three overs to spare.
Middlesex’s successful chase was also the fourth-highest in T20 history.
Meanwhile, Essex beat Kent to secure the final place in the last eight as the group stage reached its conclusion on Friday.
Five teams had gone into the final round of South Group fixtures with hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
- Lancashire Lightning v Essex Eagles
- Notts Outlaws v Middlesex
- Sussex Sharks v Worcestershire Rapids
- Gloucestershire v Derbyshire Falcons
Lancashire’s quarter-final will be held at Emirates Riverside, with Emirates Old Trafford hosting the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia from Wednesday.
More to follow.
“These conditions suit Adam Peaty more than Adam Lyth.”
That post on Yorkshire’s Twitter account referencing the Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer summed up the situation at Headingley and several other county grounds hoping to stage T20 Blast matches on Friday.
Rain caused the abandonment of all eight scheduled games without a ball bowled:
- Essex v Glamorgan
- Hampshire v Surrey
- Kent v Sussex
- Lancashire v Birmingham Bears
- Northamptonshire v Leicestershire
- Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire
- Somerset v Gloucestershire
- Yorkshire v Durham
All 18 counties have either three or four group games left to play as they bid to reach the final at Edgbaston on 21 September.
Lancashire are four points clear at the top of the North Group, despite having four of their 11 matches rained off, and will qualify for the quarter-finals if they win one of their last three group matches.
Below them, the other eight teams are separated by only five points.
“This group’s very tight and I’d take getting three points off the top team,” said Jim Troughton, whose Birmingham Bears side beat Lancashire at Edgbaston on Sunday and saw their reverse fixture at Old Trafford washed out.
“Everyone has a chance if they string together some performances. But, if you can get some momentum at this stage, it gives you a really good chance of getting to the quarter-finals.”
The South Group is evenly poised too, with just four points between leaders Sussex and fifth-placed Somerset.