Berg starts but Panthers beaten

Radlett all-rounder involved in Middlesex Panthers’ T20 defeat to Sussex

RADLETT all-rounder Gareth Berg was selected for Middlesex Panthers’ first Friends Provident T20 game of the summer but endured a mixed night as the Panthers lost out to the reigning champions Sussex Sharks.

Berg bowled extremely well to go for just 17 runs from his four allotted overs and with Tim Murtagh and Pedro Collins helping to reduce the Sharks to 33-4 the Panthers looked well on top.

A 78-run partnership between Sharks captain and England World Cup hero Mike Yardy and the big-hitting West Indian Dwayne Smith helped the visitors get back into the clash.

Smith hit three 4s and two 6s on his way to a 38-ball 49 before Murtagh bowled him. The West Indian may have been out earlier had Berg held onto a catch at long-on.

Yardy (37*) and Yasir Arafat (25*) frustrated the Panthers at the end of the innings as the Sharks closed on 146-6 from their 20 overs.

There was a large crowd at a sun-drenched Lords to see Adam Gilchrist’s debut for the Panthers but the fans were disappointed when he dragged a delivery from Arafat onto his stumps with just two runs to his name.

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Scott Newman (22), Neil Dexter (27), Owais Shah (22) and Dawid Malan (22*) all made starts but nobody took the game to the visitors.

This was in some part down to some excellent bowling from Yardy and another of England’s World Cup heroes Luke Wright with the pair finishing with 2-14 and 0-16 respectively from their four overs.

Berg’s innings wasn’t one to remember, trapped lbw by Nash for just 1.

Middlesex eventually stumbled to 118-6 from their 20 overs gifting the Sharks a 28-run victory.