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North Midd face 'huge game' in title race claims captain Hughes as Teddington visit

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 August 2019

NMCC players leave the pitch having dismssed Hampstead during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road on 25th May 2019

NMCC players leave the pitch having dismssed Hampstead during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road on 25th May 2019

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North Middlesex captain Joel Hughes admits this weekend's Middlesex League Premier Division clash with Teddington is 'a huge game'.

Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road on 25th May 2019Joel Hughes of NMCC during North Middlesex CC vs Hampstead CC, Middlesex County League Cricket at Park Road on 25th May 2019

A convincing 177-run win over Shepherds Bush last weekend left North Midd eight points clear of Ealing at the top of the table with two games left and their title rivals visit bottom club Harrow St Mary on Saturday.

And Hughes said: "It's a huge game, a cup final. We couldn't be in a better position, but Teddington are a really good side.

"We can't underestimate them but we go there with confidence. It's in our hands and we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing well.

"We've got Harrow in our last game and they have got some good players, so it will not be a walkover for Ealing."

North Midd maintained their push for the title with a superb batting display, after Hughes won the toss at Shepherds Bush.

Luke Hollman scored 52 and put on 69 with James Parslow, who went on to score 81 off 83 balls and share an 81-run stand with Will Vanderspar.

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Tom Nicoll hit 31 off 24 balls in an 84-run stand with Vanderspar, who finished unbeaten on 86 from 89 balls, having hit four sixes and six fours, in a total of 323-5.

"Both captains would've batted so I was delighted to see it come down in my favour," said Hughes of the coin toss.

"We still had to bat well but it was nice to have a nerve-settling total on the board. We were delighted to get over 300.

"Vanders has been superb the last four or five weeks and 'Pars' is such a good player. I said the other week I wanted one more matchwinning innings from him."

Bush were never in the hunt as Ethan Bamber (3-41) and Liam O'Driscoll (3-20) made the early inroads to reduce them to 79-7.

Hughes (2-26), Hollman and Nicholl shared the other wickets to fall and the captain added: "We stuck to our disciplines. There seemed plenty in it, some inconsistent bounce and a bit off the seam.

"Liam bowled beautifully and got their overseas and Middlesex player (Max Holden). It was 100 too many and shows how well we batted."

Middlesex staffer Bamber is unlikely to feature again, though, but Hughes added: "It was Ethan's third and probably last game for us. He is a big loss but we've got a good squad and will basically be the same this weekend."

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