May 8 2012 By Jon batham
GARETH Berg admitted he was the one ‘Doubting Thomas’ in Middlesex’s camp prior to their surprise County Championship victory over Worcester this week.
The Seaxes South African-born all-rounder confessed the events of early Sunday morning, when after discussions between the management of the two sides Worcestershire declared their first innings and Middlesex forfeited their second knock, leaving the visitors 283 to win, left him briefly feeling very uncomfortable.
He recalled a similar situation at Lord’s a few seasons ago when Northants chased down a big total to win on the final day and was anxious lightning might strike twice.
However, after chipping in with 2-20 as the hosts won by 132 runs to claim their second win of the campaign, the 30-year-old claimed it gave the bowlers huge confidence to be trusted to deliver.
And he was delighted to have been part of repaying their faith.
He said: “I was surprised this morning when I found out the news they were willing to chase 280.
“I thought it was only just over three an over and I was probably the only one in the squad thinking in the back of my mind ‘they could probably do this,’ because we were in the same position against Northants a few years ago and they got them.
“But I obviously was not thinking straight because our bowling unit is going so fantastically well at the moment and once we got the first couple there was always that belief if we just hit our strides more wickets would come.
“It gives us huge confidence that the management backs us to bowl sides out to win games.”
There was less cause for joy for Berg and co on Monday as they were beaten by five wickets by Gloucester in their first CB40 clash of the season at Lord’s.
Several of the hosts’ batting line-up made starts, but no-one built on them, John Simpson top scoring with 29 as Middlesex posted 157-8 in a game reduced to 26-overs-a-side by early afternoon rain.
It was never likely to be enough and despite 2-29 for Ollie Rayner, the visitors helped by an unbeaten 45 from Benny Howell coasted home with more than three overs to spare.