Tim Murtagh reckons there are plenty of positives to take from Middlesex's sorry One-Day Cup campaign.
Following a disappointing year in the T20, the Seaxes have fared better in the 50-over competition, sitting second bottom of Group B with only two wins from seven.
Yesterday's Duckworth/Lewis Method 77-run defeat to Nottinghamshire, which Murtagh watched from the stands at Lord's, ended any lingering hopes Middlesex had of making the knock-out stages.
But while the medium-fast swing bowler admits he was watching through his fingers at times as Notts piled on the runs, he feels the one-dayers haven't been a total waste of time.
Murtagh, has been awarded a benefit year at Lord's, said: “I was in the stands as I'm being rested for the last four Championship games, and it was hard to watch at times – and difficult knowing I couldn't contribute or help.
“To be far, there was some excellent batting from Alex Hales and James Taylor, but it wasn't our best day in the field. We looked a but flat out there, and whether that eminated from the bowling or the other way round, I don't know.
“We had to win our last two games to stand any chance, so that was the end of that. We started badly with two defeats coming straight off the back of two T20 games, at the end of what was a poor T20 campaign.
“We were playing catch up from that point on, and there were some fine margins, as there tend to be in 50-over games. We should have beaten Warwickshire when we lost by four runs, and Somerset was another tight one.
“There were some highlights, like Eoin Morgan's 100 against Surrey , but some real impressive performances from our younger players too, not least Ravi Patel , who is still very young for a spinner, as they don't reach their peak until they're in their 30s.
“Harry Podmore has looked mature beyond his years, taking on the responsibility of power plays at the ends of innings, which is not an easy job to do, while Tom Helm has looked really impressive and can swing the ball. I have spent a lot of time with both of them, and they are good long term prospects as seamers.”
Middlesex will see out their One-Day Cup campaign against Kent at Canterbury next Wednesday before resuming County Championship duties at the end of the month.