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Highgate hold on for a valuable point against league leaders Acton

15:58 30 June 2014

Craig Gourlay helped to ensure that Highgate avoided defeat. Pic: Max Flego

Craig Gourlay helped to ensure that Highgate avoided defeat. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Highgate held on for a valuable point against the league leaders in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League after a middle-order collapse had left them in danger of a second successive defeat.

Replying to their visitors’ total of 157 all out, Highgate were reasonably placed at 62-3, but they then lost four wickets for 15 runs before Craig Gourlay steered them to safety.

Home skipper Jake Sharland won the toss, invited Acton to bat and gained immediate success as he took the catch to dismiss Matthew Reeve (4) off opening bowler Jack Peck (2-50).

Peck struck again soon afterwards, bowling Hannadige Soysa (1), but Acton took control as James Hunt (32) and Yasir Mehmood (45) added 72 for the third wicket.

Gourlay (2-31) eventually broke the partnership when he had Mehmood caught behind and William Russell (1-10) trapped Danyal Ahmed (6) leg before to leave Acton on 94-4.

Edward Foster (3-29) claimed his first victim by bowling Tom Forsdike (15) and wickets began to fall regularly, with Hunt run out by Ben Sudell and Gourlay dismissing Acton skipper Alex Brennan (20).

Foster cleaned up the tail with the wickets of Alex Manning (0) and Alex Fell (6), while Shola Samuel-Anyia was run out for a duck as the visitors were dismissed for 157 in the 36th over.

Highgate suffered an early setback in reply as Sharland departed without scoring, lbw to Fell (2-14) and Ed Binns (9) struck two boundaries before he was caught off Samuel-Anyia (2-22).

Fell also picked up the prize wicket of Russell, bowled for just two, but Chris Arul (30) appeared to have put Highgate back on track with a solid knock of 30.

However, the home side’s fortunes took a severe downturn after Arul fell leg before to Forsdike (2-11), who then removed Ben Sudell (7) to leave Highgate wobbling on 63-5.

Acton made further inroads as Johan de Silva (1) fell to Samuel-Anyia and Holly (4) gave Brennan a return catch, but Gourlay dug in to score an unbeaten 15 from 33 deliveries.

He and Foster (4 not out) saw out the remainder of the game as Highgate closed on 90-7 from 32 overs, enough to secure a losing draw and keep them within striking distance of the top two.

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