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Bamber’s return helps North Middlesex to pass their latest examination

PUBLISHED: 12:46 04 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:26 04 July 2016

Ethan Bamber appeals for an lbw decision against Shepherd's Bush batsman Sam Howell. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Ethan Bamber appeals for an lbw decision against Shepherd's Bush batsman Sam Howell. Pic: Paolo Minoli

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Teenager Ethan Bamber made his first appearance of the season for North Middlesex and took three wickets as the Crouch End outfit secured their first victory in four games in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League.

North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll hits a six to win the match. Pic: Paolo MinoliNorth Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll hits a six to win the match. Pic: Paolo Minoli

The 17-year-old Middlesex academy player had been focused on his school exams during the previous two months, but he returned to claim figures of 3-29, while Joel Hughes (3-18) and Jaron Semper (3-25) also picked up three wickets apiece as Shepherd’s Bush were bowled out for 117 in 54 overs.

North Midd’s persistent difficulties with the bat threatened to ruin their day once again as they found themselves 27-2 in reply, with Joe Cracknell (0) and his replacement Rob Fahrenheim (10) back in the pavilion.

However, opener Adam Holmes (36) and Evan Flowers (30) turned the innings around and captain Tom Nicoll then struck an unbeaten 40 off 30 balls, hitting his second six to win the match in the 31st over with five wickets in hand.

Having started the weekend just one place and one point above the drop zone, the Park Road side leapfrogged Hampstead and are now seven points clear of the reigning champions, who dropped into the bottom twoand will be their hosts on Saturday.

“This was a much-improved performance,” said Nicoll. “It was good to have young Ethan back with us after his exams and he, Joel and Jaron all bowled beautifully, while five good catches were taken in the slips.

“The total of 117 was a modest one to chase, but our recent batting performances have not been encouraging, to say the least, and at 27-2 the nerves were jangling a bit.

“However, Adam played his usual anchor role for us and there was the welcome sight of last season’s top scorer Evan regaining some sort of form.

“It was a much needed-win. Hopefully we can now kick on and climb the table.”

North Middlesex were also victorious in the Middlesex Development League, beating neighbours North London by eight wickets.

North Midd inserted their hosts and Max Harris, Henry Howled and Nick Friend took three wickets apiece to skittle NL for just 108 in 28.5 overs, with skipper Ted Greally making 25 and Jordan Gregory 23.

The visitors batted strongly in reply, with Mitch Murray retiring on 50 and opener Hugh Tessdale hitting an unbeaten 27 as they passed the home side’s total in 25.1 overs.

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