Middlesex vs Sussex predictions: Bottom club can finally break duck at Lord's
It has been a difficult start to the T20 Blast season for Middlesex and Sussex, who have lost 12 of their combined 13 matches in the South Group.
Sussex's batting frailties were exposed again in Tuesday's defeat at Chelmsford, where Essex chased down a target of 148 with more than five overs to spare.
Middlesex have lost their last 11 Blast games, spanning the 2022 and 2023 seasons, but there were positives to take from Tuesday's five-run defeat to holders Hampshire and they will hope a return to Lord's inspires a first T20 win of the summer.
Middlesex vs Sussex (Thursday, 6.15pm)
Middlesex could name the same team who ran Hampshire close on Tuesday with Jack Davies preferred to the experienced John Simpson as wicketkeeper.
Sussex are likely to be without the injured Ali Orr and Delray Rawlins. Pakistan's Shadab Khan and Australian Nathan McAndrew are available along with England fast bowler Tymal Mills.
Middlesex have lost their first seven matches in this season's T20 Blast, while their openers have been dismissed for one, two, nought and nought in their last two games.
Max Holden, Middlesex's leading Blast runscorer this summer, has a batting strike-rate of 174
Sussex have been bowled out in three of their last four games, for 138, 144 and 147, and have lost their last four matches in the T20 Blast.
Sussex veteran Ravi Bopara is the leading six-hitter on either team with 10 maximums this season
Middlesex lost their last four matches of the 2022 T20 Blast and have suffered seven straight defeats at the start of this season but their long wait for a victory may well end against fellow strugglers Sussex.
There have been some encouraging efforts from Middlesex despite their winless run. They should have beaten Gloucestershire at Northwood, losing by two runs after needing just 12 off the final 13 balls, and they reached 146-0, inside 12 overs, chasing 239 against Glamorgan before their innings tailed off.
A solid bowling performance restricted a powerful Hampshire side to 164-6 in Tuesday's narrow defeat and a similar display could prove too good for Sussex.
After Luke Wright's retirement, Phil Salt's departure to Lancashire last year and Ali Orr's injury, the Sharks' batting line-up looks short of star quality and they have been bowled out for 138 and 147 in a couple of limp defeats to Essex this month.
Sussex have lost their last four games since a shock win over Surrey at The Oval so this looks an ideal opportunity for Middlesex to snap their long run of defeats.