Saturday, 24 April 2010

It was written in the stars...

Friday evening at Wantage Road, Northampton. Middlesex have put themselves in an incredibly commanding position, and appear to be coasting to victory, even prompting this Cricinfo article: "Scott Newman sets up Middlesex victory push". Shaun Udal set Northants an incredibly unlikely 395 to win on a final day where Steven Finn, Tim Murtagh and Danny Evans (fresh off a first innnings five-fer) were to bowl Middlesex to victory in a procession.

Saturday evening at Wantage Road, Northampton. Northants have won, thanks to an unbeaten 183 from openers Steven Peters. Nobody saw this coming; as Northants grasped victory from the jaws of defeat, and Middlesex staring at a third consecutive LV=CC defeat.

But someone did see it coming. Step forward Cricinfo's resident nostradamus CricketingStargazer, who on that earlier article congratulating Middlesex for their obviously-going-to-happen victory, said that: "This match is more finely balanced than it looks. Despite what the reports says, Middlesex showed little initial urgency. As a result, they have probably set 20-30 less than they might have liked. Batting looked increasingly easy through the day and, with the quick start, a final day chase is not impossible. The trick is going to be to keep Northants interested because determined batsmen are not going to be easy to dismiss tomorrow if Northants put up the shutters. The danger though is that Northants need under 4 an over and have the batting to get it if someone gets in.".

You know what. He was right.

And yes, as a deeply distressed Middlesex fan, I have chosen to ignore the questionable declaration from Udal and useless bowling from the much vaunted four of Murtagh, Finn, Berg and Evans. I've instead chosen to write about an extraordinary piece of punditry from CricketStargazer. Northant's victory truly was written in the stars.

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