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Ian Cockbain fifty, last-gasp six ensures narrow DLS win for Gloucestershire


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Visitors move ahead of par score off final ball amid controversy at Radlett

Gloucestershire 157 for 5 (Cockbain 62*) beat middlesex 179 for 5 (Cracknell 67) by two runs (DLS method)

Ian Cockbain hit his first half-century of this year’s Vitality Blast to earn Gloucestershire a narrow win over Middlesex after rain at Radlett prevented a nail-biting finish.
Cockbain, who top-edged the final ball of the 18th over from Steven Finn for six, did just enough to edge his side ahead by two runs under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations. Until then, Gloucestershire had been behind the required rate, but Cockbain and Ryan Higgins, with an unbeaten 20, did enough to tilt the contest in their favour, reaching 157 for 5 when a downpour halted play.
The run chase was controversial, with both captains questioning the decision to start a fixture at an outground – without floodlights – as late as 5.30pm. Middlesex were told to bowl spin at one stage due to poor light, leading to prolonged delays while Eoin Morgan spoke to the umpires. They brought Finn back in the 18th over, though he conceded two sixes to tilt the game in Gloucestershire’s favour.

“The more frustrating thing from my side was that it was so dark, so early,” Morgan said. “The fact that you’re forced to bowl spin, as a captain, when it’s probably not the best option to do so at that time. That happened in about the 12th over and in a game of T20 cricket your hand is forced.

“The light was questionable the whole time, but there are two very experienced umpires out there and you have to trust their decision. Given the situation we found ourselves in, the right decision was made. It was dark by the end of the game and when it’s dark, safety comes into it.”

Jack Taylor, Gloucestershire’s captain, said: “The umpires were stuck between a rock and a hard place – it did get pretty dark early on. In white-ball cricket, you try and stay out there and they obviously wanted to keep a full game, but I think to be honest a lot of it’s down to the start time.

“I don’t think we can play at half past five any more, without lights. Ultimately we all want to play full, good games of cricket and that tarnished some of the good cricket we played in the first half. We had a similar thing at Glamorgan last week – the floodlights weren’t working so we started at 5.30 and the last half-hour of the game was too dark.”

Middlesex had posted 179 for 5 after being put in, built around Joe Cracknell‘s 41-ball innings of 67 – the youngster’s second successive half-century.

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