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North London bowlers leave it too late to spring into Acton

18:28 19 May 2014

North London captain Jack Atchinson. Pic: Max Flego

North London captain Jack Atchinson. Pic: Max Flego

Max Flego Sports Photography

A poor opening spell with the ball proved costly for North London as they lost out to Acton in a close finish in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

NL totalled a solid 214, built around an innings of 73 from Anees Davids, but they were unable establish control at the start of their visitors’ reply as the opening pair put on 89 in rapid time.

Although leg-spinner Peter Monar led the fightback with a six-wicket haul, it was not enough as Acton scraped home by three wickets with three balls to spare.

“Our bowlers weren’t quite hitting their stride in those first 10 overs. But for that period at the start, it could have been very different,” reflected NL skipper Jack Atchinson.

“Peter, along with Freddie Issitt, really gave us a fighting chance – they deserve a lot of credit for their control and accuracy. Overall, I thought we were quite unlucky to lose an exciting game.

“Acton are a good team and there are certainly positives we can take from this. Anees batted with invention as well as power – it was a great knock and ably supported by the people around him.”

North London also began badly with the bat, losing openers Paul Brierley and Ed Dawson for ducks, but Sam Bardon (26) and Jack Godfrey-Wood (20) then put on a stand of 62 for the third wicket.

Davids took centre stage with his knock of 73 from 59 deliveries – which included four fours and three sixes – before he was eventually dismissed, leg before to John Reeve (3-64).

Atchinson (13), Monar (13), Tom Wakeford (11) and James Baker (10 not out) all added useful contributions as Tom Forsdike (4-21) finished off their innings in the 53rd over.

However, Davids and Baker struggled to find their rhythm when Acton replied and openers Matthew Reeve (34) and Hannadige Soysa (41) took full advantage.

Monar (6-58) broke the partnership by removing Reeve and followed that up with three more cheap wickets, while Issitt (1-29) got rid of Soysa as Acton slumped to 132-5.

But Yasir Mehmood (56) and Alex Brennan (36no) came to their side’s rescue with a stand of 57 and, although Monar increased his tally to six wickets, Acton scrambled across the line in the final over.

There was a further blow for NL when wicketkeeper Brierley broke his thumb during the Acton innings. He is expected to be out for a month, with Dawson taking over the gloves in the short term.

North London recovered on Sunday to record a six-wicket win away to Division Two side Brentham in the Middlesex Cup and book a tie against Brondesbury in the next round.

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