Ben defends North Mid's Honour but batsmen let the side down
NORTH Middlesex were forced to conquer a middle-order collapse before Nick Brand and Anthony Holloway saw them hold on for a point at rock-bottom Uxbridge on Saturday. Uxbridge, desperately in need of all 10 points...
NORTH Middlesex were forced to conquer a middle-order collapse before Nick Brand and Anthony Holloway saw them hold on for a point at rock-bottom Uxbridge on Saturday.
Uxbridge, desperately in need of all 10 points as they prop up the Division Two table, opted to bat first and despite losing one opener for a duck reached 95 before losing another wicket, Mike Stafford bowled by Evan Flowers (1-27).
It was the home side's Malkeet Dhaliwal (89) who made the most of the good wicket to lift the tally to 178-3 before he was run out.
Off-spinner Ben Honour, pictured, then immediately removed Jibram Azam (37) at 178-4 and Tony Stephens for a duck to leave Uxbridge suddenly not looking so comfortable on 180-5.
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Honour (5-54) then had Nick Hardy (11) caught by Maxwell Creese and instantly took his fourth consecutive wicket when he removed Andre Jason (26) - again caught by Creese.
Ryan O'Connor (13) was the sole remaining Uxbridge batsman to reach double figures as the home side were dismissed for 230.
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Mid's chase began well with Flowers reaching 29, before his departure sparked a collapse reminiscent of Australia at The Oval 24 hours earlier, staggering to 85-7 with only Adam Holmes (17) adding a meaningful score.
Somebody had to stop the rot and it came in the form of an eighth-wicket partnership between Anthony Holloway (23not out) and Nick Brand (44not out) which settled nerves as the pair sensibly batted out the remaining 20 overs to deny the hosts a precious win.
However, with top two Acton and Twickenham both winning, North Mid are effectively out of the promotion picture with two games to play, although they still have a mathematical chance of going up if they can beat Uxbridge on Saturday in their penultimate game.