Russell records first five-wicket haul as Highgate overcome North London

13:23 14 July 2014

Will Russell of Highgate celebrates after taking the wicket of Hussain Shabbir

Will Russell of Highgate celebrates after taking the wicket of Hussain Shabbir

Max Flego Sports Photography

All-rounder Will Russell recorded his first five-wicket haul for Highgate as they got back on track with victory over neighbours North London in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Chris Arul bats for HighgateChris Arul bats for Highgate

Russell ripped through NL’s middle order with figures of 5-39 as the home side were restricted to 171-9, and Chris Arul then struck a half-century to guide Highgate over the line by four wickets at 172-6.

The victory was Highgate’s first success in five games and nudged them closer to the promotion places after second-placed Acton went down to their second successive defeat.

“After a rough couple of weeks we were delighted to get back to winning ways, especially against our local rivals,” said Russell. “We just need to be consistent and take our form into the next few weeks.

“On a personal note it was pleasing to contribute with the ball – my extra training sessions with [team-mate] Craig Gourlay have really helped my bowling.”

James Baker of North London bowlsJames Baker of North London bowls

Highgate skipper Jake Sharland won the toss at Montenotte Road and put the home side in to bat, with Ian Swallow (3-33) making early inroads as he had Paul Brierley (1) caught behind and then bowled Simon Rivers for a duck.

However, Pete Monar (43) and Hussain Shabbir (45) steered NL to what looked a solid position at 78-2 before Russell broke their stand, with Ed Binns taking the catch to remove Monar.

Russell put Highgate firmly in control as he got rid of Milo Jennings (5), Jack Godfrey-Wood (3) and Shabbir to leave the home side in trouble at 111-6.

NL captain Jack Atchinson (15) became Russell’s fifth victim and Ted Greally soon followed, bowled by William Brookes (1-41) for a duck.

But Tom Wakeford offered some late resistance, hitting an undefeated 26 from 44 balls and, with the support of Joe Burke (4) and James Baker (5 not out) lifted his side to 171-9 from 55 overs.

Russell did not fare so well with the bat when Highgate replied, making just six before he was bowled by Baker, who put the visitors under some pressure with a tight opening spell.

Sharland reached 21 before Baker (3-26) trapped him lbw and Highgate were wobbling at 57-3 when Ed Atkins (12) was caught by Brierley off the same bowler.

That became 75-4 when Binns (22) fell to Monar (1-25), but a partnership of 75 between Arul (55) and Ben Sudell (31) effectively ended the home side’s hopes of defending their total.

Greally (1-44) finally removed Sudell and Arul, whose knock included four fours and two sixes, departed soon afterwards, caught by Atchinson off Wakeford (1-35).

But those wickets came too late to deny Highgate, with Edward Foster slamming a couple of sixes in a quickfire unbeaten 16 to take his side over the line at 172-6 in the 44th over.

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