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Highgate keep nerve to claim top spot

PUBLISHED: 11:51 08 June 2007 | UPDATED: 14:33 07 September 2010

Debutant Justin Lampard held three slip catches and scored 31 runs as Highgate defeated Twickenham and jumped to the top of the Middlesex County League division three. But the home side had to endure ""a few wobbles

Twickenham 157 Highgate 158-7

Debutant Justin Lampard held three slip catches and scored 31 runs as Highgate defeated Twickenham and jumped to the top of the Middlesex County League division three.

But the home side had to endure "a few wobbles", according to captain Dave Benton, before passing the target of 157 which had been set earlier on.

Having won the toss, the home side put Twickenham's batsmen under early pressure, with Syed Karrar and Tony Duckett combining spin and seam to good effect.

Duckett broke through with a sharp catch off his own bowling for the first wicket, followed immediately by Lampard taking the first of three slip catches.

Karrar then got through the batsmen's defences twice and with Duckett winning an lbw decision, Twickenham were wobbling at 60-5.

Barnes and Ryan knuckled down for the visitors to take the score past 100.

Duckett was replaced by Chris Fletcher to no avail, and when drinks were taken with Twickenham 134-5, Highgate's advantage had slipped away and they were staring at a potential chase of 200-plus.

Benton then brought himself into the attack and removed Barnes for 51 with his first ball.

This triggered a mini-collapse, with two more wickets falling to the skipper and another lbw for Karrar, leaving the visitors 140-9.

Some clean hitting from Ryan (66no) took Twickenham past 150, but Karrar finished things off with his fourth wicket, leaving Twickenham all out for 157. Karrar finished with 4-62, Duckett 3-56 and Benton 3-9.

In reply, Jake Sharland and Will Clarke started at five an over before both were caught behind with the score on 37. Freddie Barrass went quickly after for 0, and at tea Highgate were 51-3 with plenty of work still to do.

After the break Lampard and Jack Willow took the score to 110 before Lampard went for 31. But Lampard's proved to be a key wicket as Twickenham soon flayed Sam Joseph and Joe Phelan, followed by Willow for 38. With the hosts on 118-7, the match was anyone's.

Benton and Fletcher dug in and steadily compiled a lucrative partnership, with two fours from Benton taking Highgate past 150, before Fletcher struck the winning boundary. Highgate reached their target in the 46th over with Benton finishing 24 not out.

"It was another solid team performance," said skipper Benton. "We fought back well in the field to restrict them to a reasonable score, and despite a few wobbles, had enough strength in depth with our batting to take us home."

Highgate visit Wycombe House tomorrow.

North London 268-9 Shepherd's Bush 188-5

Stand-in skipper Chris Gane led from the front on Saturday as North London grabbed the four points against Shepherd's Bush in division two.

The Australian could have been caught for eight but the chance was spilled and he went on to score 134 as North rattled up 268-9 from 52 overs. However, the Bush put up stubborn resistance and finished on 188-5.

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