Struggling Middlesex lose again as Essex win at Lord's
|Friends Life t20, Lord's|
|Essex 155-6 (20 overs) beat Middlesex 149-9 (20 overs) by six runs.|
Essex claimed their second FL t20 victory in 24 hours as they beat Middlesex by six runs at Lord's.
The visitors, who won by three runs against Kent on Wednesday, batted first and made 155-6 as Ryan ten Doeschate top scored with 38 off 27 deliveries.
Graham Napier added 28 off 12 balls with useful contributions from Mark Pettini (26) and James Franklin (23).
Gareth Berg and Ollie Rayner both scored 39 apiece for Middlesex but they could only reach 149-9 off 20 overs.
The hosts had started badly in their reply as Joe Denly (1), Chris Rogers (3), Dawid Malan (1) and Neil Dexter (5) all fell cheaply as Middlesex slumped to 36-5.
Rayner hit two sixes in his 21-ball innings of 39 not out but it was not enough as Middlesex suffered their third T20 defeat in four matches.
Tim Phillips claimed three wickets, while Greg Smith added two wickets to go with the five-wicket haul he took on Wednesday.
Essex, who began their campaign with a 17-run defeat against Surrey, moved up to third in the South league table.
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Essex coach Paul Grayson told BBC Essex:
"I think it's a lesson to us all that in Twenty20 Cricket you are never out of the game.
"They've (Middlesex) got a long, long batting order. I've just said to our lads, remember, if we get in that position ourselves in the future, you've still got a chance.
"For much of the game we were excellent, we posted a decent score on a difficult wicket and I thought we bowled well for the first 14-15 overs."