Topley targets success after inspiring Hampshire win at Middlesex

Reece Topley. Picture: Neil Marshall
Reece Topley. Picture: Neil Marshall
Sam Stoddart, left, and Fareham & Crofton skipper Tom Kent. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150507-5)

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Dan Stancliffe. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170631-1)

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REECE TOPLEY set his sights on success as Hampshire collected another two Royal London One-Day Cup points with a win at Middlesex.

The visitors took the match by five wickets to move to the brink of the knockout stages.

Topley praised the way they competed and he was happy to be rewarded with four wickets for his approach.

He said: ‘Things came together nicely. I’ve had some performances earlier in the tournament where I thought I was doing the right things so it was a case of being patient and believing in everything I’ve worked on – believing in the method if you like.

‘You could see Middlesex’s thinking at the toss with this being an out-ground with spinners coming into the game in the second innings.

‘I think we out-batted and out-bowled them and that is the art of winning cricket games.

‘This win will mean nothing if we don’t go on to achieve big things in this competition.’

Topley’s display was impressive as the former England quick bowler, who committed himself to white-ball only cricket over the winter, made Middlesex regret their decision to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions following a delayed start.

The 24-year-old’s four for 40 ensured the hosts were restricted to just 199 for eight in their 45 overs, a target the south group leaders made comfortably, despite a mid-innings wobble, led by 56 from James Vince.

Eyebrows were raised when Middlesex skipper Finn opted to bat after winning a toss delayed for an hour by early morning rain.

Deprived of club captain Dawid Malan on Test duty and England one-day skipper Eoin Morgan, ruled out with a cracked finger, much depended on openers Paul Stirling and Nick Gubbins.

However, Gubbins perished early, caught in the gulley for nine giving Topley his first wicket.

Stirling did hoist Topley for one huge six into the car park but trying to repeat the shot he fell to the next delivery.

Vince trapped Stevie Eskinazi LBW for 42 and Topley then returned to the attack to strike again.

Overseas ace Hilton Cartwright had his furniture rearranged by former Middlesex man Gareth Berg.

And Mason Crane (two for 35) struck next.

Some big hits from Tom Helm got Middlesex to the brink of 200, but Topley bowled him to complete his four-wicket haul.

In reply, James Vince (56) starred but with his team in cruise control the England man was run out.

When Joe Weatherley (38) holed out to Finn at mid-off, Middlesex briefly had hope.

Bradley Taylor was caught behind for 11 but Jimmy Adams and Lewis McManus’ 60-run stand eased Hampshire home.