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Highgate rue missed opportunity in promotion race after draw at struggling Kenton

11:18 12 August 2014

Highgate's no9 batsman Johan de Silva was the top scorer in the match with 49. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate's no9 batsman Johan de Silva was the top scorer in the match with 49. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

Highgate spurned the opportunity to go level on points with Division Three leaders Wembley after a losing draw against struggling Kenton in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Wembley lost to bottom of the table Ickenham and third-placed Acton stumbled to a losing draw at South Hampstead, but Highgate were unable to take advantage and solidify their place in the top two.

Asked to bat, visiting Highgate posted 197 but were unable to bowl out a stubborn Kenton side, who finished on 185-8.

Chris Arul (8) and Will Bowley (23) took Highgate to 26 without loss, but Kenton’s Charles Erdwin made short work of the visitor’s middle order.

Viraj Patel caught Bowley off Erdwin (3-41), who then bowled Edward Binns for a golden duck before catching Will Russell for 19. Ben Sudell (6), Nicholas Brunner (0) and Matthew Holly (10) were next to go as Highgate found themselves 71-6.

However, Prashanth Srinivas made 17 while Johan de Silva fell just one run short of a half-century with a top score of 49 – and Craig Gourlay (34) and Scott Thaxton (17 not out) helped Highgate to reach 197 before they succumbed after 53.4 overs.

In reply, Kenton’s top-order trio of Schopun Jooma (15), Rajiv Soneji and Kalpesh Kerai made a strong start, taking the hosts to 85-1.

But Gourlay (4-59) turned the match back in Highgate’s favour, trapping Soneji (26) in front of his wicket and then removing Sachin Patel for a duck by the same method.

Thaxton (1-32) prised out opener Kerai (48) and, when Gourlay got his third lbw decision to dismiss Deepak Singh (1), Kenton were 106-5.

Bhavesh Tapariya (12) and Viraj Patel (1) were run out in quick succession by Ben Sudell and Nick Brunner, leaving the hosts on the ropes at 125-7 – but Mohammed Hasnain (48) and Mohammed Amir (17no) shared a defiant 60-run partnership.

And, although Gourlay got rid of Hasnain in the final moments, Kenton finished on 185-8 – just 13 runs short of victory, and with a higher run-rate which secured the four points.

Meanwhile, North London are looking over their shoulders in Division Three after a losing draw away at Barnes.

James Alder hit 93 for Barnes, who declared on 237-7 after 52 overs, and NL could only reach 171-8 from their 48 overs, leaving them 13 points from safety after basement boys Ickenham triumphed at Wembley.

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