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Ben defends North Mid's Honour but batsmen let the side down

PUBLISHED: 16:52 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:24 07 September 2010

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.

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.

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.


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