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Maaz is key in amazing NL comeback

PUBLISHED: 17:52 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:23 07 September 2010

MAAZ Haffeji's sublime nine-wicket haul ensured victory for North London in their critical relegation clash with South Hampstead at Milverton Road on Saturday. The emphatic win lifts Mark Askew's outfit out of the drop zone...

MAAZ Haffeji's sublime nine-wicket haul ensured victory for North London in their critical relegation clash with South Hampstead at Milverton Road on Saturday.

The emphatic win lifts Mark Askew's outfit out of the drop zone, at the expense of defeated South Hampstead.

It is a remarkable turnaround for a side who were a massive 13 points adrift of safety only four weeks ago.

At that point North London were languishing at the bottom of the pile with just 16 points from 11 matches, but incredibly the last four games have produced 31 points as Askew's side explode out of the grave.

The resurrection is yet to be confirmed, and NL's Division Two future is still precarious as they teter three points above the drop zone, but Saturday's victorious basement battle has lifted Askew's side out of the pit for the first time since mid-June.

"It was all about the nine wickets taken by Maaz Haffeji," NL's Tom Wakeford said. "We have stayed positive and have lifted ourselves out of the relegation zone, and we have a good run-in as two of our last three games are against Harrow and Enfield, who are just above us."

NL won the toss and elected to bat and despite losing opener Chris Ridley for a duck, quickly proceeded to push the score along to declare on a healthy 220-8.

But SH's reply barely got off the ground as Haffeji removed the opener for a duck and then proceed to take eight of the next nine wickets to finish with figures of 9-38.

NL were rocked by Ridley's rapid dismissal when he was skittled by Majid Akram (2-37) but Ian Johns (59) moved things along with Patrick Mills reaching 27 and Jeff Hurrell 30.

Askew (15), Tom Wakeford (9) and Neil Gill (20) pushed the score along despite the efforts of Jason Domigan (3-80) and James Williams (3-43).

Neil Gill (20not out) and Ben Wakeford (37no) kept on to declare at 220-8.

SH's reply barely got of the ground as Haffeji removed Tim McMahon (19) and James Battcock (1-25) dismissed Zia Sialvi for 12, before Haffeji upped the tempo to remove the eight remaining batsmen for 110.


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